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State Asks for Time to Disprove Torture of Terrorism Suspects

The group, represented by Human Rights Lawyer Ladislaus Rwakafuuzi told the court earlier that they could not stand trial because their health was deteriorating as a result of injuries inflicted on them during their month-long stay at the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence.
12 Mar 2019 16:42
The Suspects at Nakawa Magistrates Court
Prosecutors have pleaded for more time to avail a report disproving allegations that a group of 11 people charged with terrorism was tortured while in military custody.

The suspects; Mariam Kasujja, Ismail Sulaiman Sebbowa, Ismail Muwonge, Andrew Kaweesi, Ibrahim Kavuma, Ahmed Ssebuwufu, Uthman Mugoya, Luutu Kimuli, Juma Swabaru Ssekiti, Hamza Mwebe, Daniel Kaaya, Ismail Sewanyana and Sulaiman Senfuka are accused of aiding, abetting or financing acts to terrorism by rendering support to the Allied Democratic Forces-ADF.

The prosecution alleges that the accused and others still at large between 2015 and 2018 in diverse areas of Kampala, Wakiso, Masaka, Rakai, Kyotera, Buikwe and Busoga region belonged or professed to belong to Allied Democratic Front (ADF), a rebel group led by Jamil Mukulu.

But the group, represented by Human Rights Lawyer Ladislaus Rwakafuuzi told the court earlier that they could not stand trial because their health was deteriorating as a result of injuries inflicted on them during their month-long stay at the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence.

They said they were whipped, masked, and never allowed to ease themselves for long hours and that the experience had resulted in health complications for which they could not get treatment while in detention.

But State Prosecutor Christine Apolot dismissed the allegations of torture. Apolot added that the suspects had no proof that they had been tortured and that the prison's administration could not provide treatment for whatever conditions they were suffering from.

Presiding Magistrate Ponsiano Odwori directed the prosecution to investigate the claims of torture raised by the suspects in unknown destinations and present a report to court today, the day the suspects were due to return to court.

However today, Apolot told the same court that they were unable to produce a report due to the absence of the officer in charge of the investigation, who is reportedly in Northern Uganda handling a plea bargain session. She asked the court to adjourn the matter to another date when the report is expected to be ready.

The case has been adjourned to April 11, 2019.  

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