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NUP Supporters Seek Bail From International Crimes Court :: Uganda Radionetwork

NUP Supporters Seek Bail From International Crimes Court

They on Monday appeared before Lady Justice Alice Komuhangi Khauka through their lawyers Nalukola Luyimbazi , Ssuna Zakaria and Jonathan Erotu.
The accused NUP Supporters appearing before the International Crimes Court.

Nine Supporters of the National Unity Platform who are facing terrorism charges are seeking bail in the International Crimes Division of the High Court.  

  They are; Hamidu Muyobi, Abdallah Katumba, Muhamod Kalyango, Male Sulaiman Kyewalabye, Wilber Kairugara, Umar Magara, Abdu Katumba , Issa Makumbi and Hamidu Ssekide.  

They  on Monday appeared before Lady Justice Alice Komuhangi Khauka through their lawyers Nalukola Luyimbazi , Ssuna Zakaria and Jonathan Erotu.  

The records before the Court indicate that on May 31st, 2023, the applicants were charged with offenses related to terrorism and arraigned before the Chief Magistrates Court in Nabweru before they were remanded to Luzira Prison to date.

  They say that on February 9th, 2024, the charge sheet was amended to add Salim Ssekabembe and Rashid Ssebagala alias Professor and remove Resty Birungi Nabbosa and Faridah Masaba from the charge sheet.

Records show that they have a fixed place of abode in Uganda and they are willing to abide by any bail conditions that may be imposed upon them by the Court.  

They are entitled to mandatory bail and have spent almost a year in Prison. By the time the accused persons filed this case, they were not yet committed to the High Court for trial and they argued that it's not clear when they would be tried.  

They informed the Court that they have substantial sureties willing to stand for them and will be produced at the hearing of the Court.    

But Magala filed a separate application in which he states that he has a constitutional right to apply for bail and that the offense he is charged with is bailable before the Court.

  He said he has a permanent place of residence at Kakungulu Zone 1 Parish, Kawempe Division Kampala District.  

He said he is a teacher by progression and Headteacher at Abdul Waheed High School and is married with children and is the sole breadwinner for his family  

According to Magala, he was informed by his lawyers that upon the expiry of the six-month period since charge and remand at Luzira Prison, he is entitled to mandatory bail in line with the Constitutional provisions. 

"That once released on bail, I will attend Court whenever called upon and that I will not abscond. That I am ready and willing to fully attend the trial and undertake to comply with the terms and conditions for the grant of bail", reads Magala's affidavit.  

The applicants argue jointly that their trial is most likely to take longer and therefore, they should be released on bail.

However, when the parties met before the Judge, she advised that the status of the case had since changed. By the time the accused persons applied for bail, they had not yet been committed to the High Court for trial.

Lady Justice Komuhangi informed the lawyers that when a person is already committed for trial, they cannot plead the ground to be released on mandatory bail.  

But the Prosecution’s Chief State Attorney, Richard Birivumbuka said one of the applicants Umaru Magala is also an applicant in application number seven. Birivumbuka said the two applications were premised on the same facts and were seeking the same remedy of bail.  

He said however, in this one, there was one applicant, and the other, there were several applicants.

“We thought this was duplication of work and backlog that would easily be avoided by merging the same applications. It's our prayer therefore that you can invoke section 17(2) of the Judicature Act and have the applications consolidated. We do appreciate that the consolidation is by way of a formal application by way of notice of motion supported by affidavits. There are a lot of disputes. The court should wave section 17(2) of the Judicature Act invoked,” said Birivumbuka.

  In response, Lawyer Nalukoola said that his learned brother Birivumbuka had preempted his submissions and that he had no reason to object to the application for consolidation.

  However, he requested more time to see whether to consolidate or not.  

The Judge then further remanded the accused persons until June 4th, 2024 as the lawyers discussed how to proceed with the matter.

The Prosecution alleges that on May 7th, 2023, in Nabweru North Zone, Nansana Municipality, the accused persons committed acts of terrorism by purchasing and manufacturing improvised explosive devices (petrol bombs) without regard for the safety of others. 

The purpose of these acts was to intimidate the public or influence the government for political, social, religious, or economic gain.