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Women Want Video Evidence Used in Police Assault Case

Nineteen women belonging to Inter-party Cooperation (IPC) have today asked the High Court in Kampala to accept the NTV video footage to prove their assault case in which they sued nine senior police officers for battering them in 2010.
Nineteen women belonging to Interparty Cooperation (IPC) have today asked the High Court in Kampala to accept the NTV video footage to prove their assault case in which they sued nine senior police officers for battering them in 2010.

The women’s lawyer, Mohammed Mbabazi, who appeared on Monday morning before High Court judge Benjamin Kabiito, said the NTV video footage is critical to prove the case against the ‘cruel acts’ of the police offices against his clients.

The IPC women led by Ingrid Turinawe, the opposition FDC party women’s league chairperson, sued officers including Director of Operations Grace Turyagumanawe, Kabalye Training School Commandant Moses Kafeero, CID Director Grace Akullo and Judith Nabakooba, the Deputy Police Political Commissar.

The alleged assault against the IPC women happened on June 14, 2010 just outside Buganda Road Court. They claim to have been battered, undressed and pepper-sprayed by the police officers.

The women who were calling themselves ‘Women of Peace’ had just attended another court case and they were on their way to the Electoral Commission headquarters to demand the resignation of its chairman, Eng. Badru Kiggundu ahead of the 2011 general elections.

During the court proceedings, Lawyer Mbabazi together with Richard Matanda, the state attorney who represented the sued officers, exchanged vital evidence they intend to rely on during the hearing.

Mbabazi among others tendered in various medical forms from St Francis Hospital Nsambya where most of the IPU women were treated of ailments following the alleged assault.

Also tendered in as identification exhibit, was the NTV video footage though its authenticity was questioned.

On the other hand the state attorney tendered in operations orders of the police, and a letter from FDC dated May 27 addressed to police boss Kale Kayihura.

Matanda also informed court that they intend to tender in their own version of the video clippings showing the events of the day.

The trial judge ordered the state to avail their own version of the video recording and the press release to court and lawyer Mbabazi by September 3.

The Judge said if this is done, court will then sit on September 6 to resolve the authenticity of the video recordings before they either use or discard them during hearing of the case.

In their petition, the women politicians want court declarations that the acts of the police officers amounted to incompetence and constitute to unprofessionalism, and indiscipline.

They also want court declarations that the police officers are unbefitting to be members of the Uganda Police Force.

They further want the High Court to order the officers to compensate them for the injuries suffered and damage caused during the alleged torture.

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