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Mobile Court Convicts Eight Refugees for Defilement, Theft in Arua

Six of the suspects were convicted on their own guilty plea for defilement. Four of them were identified as Michael Roba 20, Swaib Alio, 23, Majid Anguyo, 24 and Cosmas Aloro 25, while the other two were minors aged between 16-17. One of the other juveniles was convicted of stealing a mobile phone.
Arua Chief Magistrate Justice Daniel Lubowa Presiding over the cases of nine convicts during mobile court at zone three in Invepi Refugee Camp on Thursday.
At least eight refugees have been convicted and sentenced for various crimes committed in settlement camps in Arua district. The group was tried through a mobile sitting of the Chief Magistrates Court, held at Imvepi settlement camp on Thursday.  

The mobile court, supported by the Uganda Association of Judicial Lawyers convicted the nine suspects, in a four-hour’ session, after they pleaded guilty to the offences.  

Six of the suspects were convicted on their own guilty plea for defilement. Four of them were identified as Michael Roba 20, Swaib Alio, 23, Majid Anguyo, 24 and Cosmas Aloro 25, while the other two were minors aged between 16-17. One of the other juveniles was convicted of stealing a mobile phone.  

Arua Chief Magistrate Daniel Lubowa sent two of the minors to prison for five months. The other minor was given a community service punishment, while the adult convicts will serve a sentence of three years in prison.  

Also convicted in the same sitting was a Congolese refugee identified as Zau Malize 21, who was on trial for malicious damage. He received a caution as punishment for the crime.  

State Prosecutor Gertrude Nyipir said that although the judge exhibited lenience, tougher sentences should have been delivered to act as a deterrent to others.  

Meanwhile, Defense Counsel Vincent Ounyo welcomed the sentences adding that the suspects did not waste the court’s time in the trial. Most of the suspects had already spent at least three months on remand in Arua.  

This is the first time the mobile court moves to hear cases and administer justice to complainants of cases in the refugee camps.