By Spy Uganda
Three Muslim men who were arrested over allegations of having involved in the murder of former police spokesperson AIGP Andrew Felix Kaweesi are now being charged with forgery of National Identity Cards.
However, their lawyer Anthony Wameli has asked Nabweru Magistrate’s Court to drop the charges against his clients. The suspects are Higenyi Noordin Aramathan, a Money Changer, Bruhan Balyejusa alias Masiga, a Boda boda Rider and Shafiq Kasujja a Graphics Designer.
Wameli told the Nabweru Grade one Magistrate, George Mfitundinda on Thursday that his court lacks territorial jurisdictions to try the matter.
He explained that “Prosecution alleges that my clients committed the said crimes in Mpondwe Boarder town in Kasese District and Nasser Road in Kampala, so they cannot be tried in Nabweru.”
Wameli noted that under the Magistrates Court Act, Nabweru Court is strictly supposed to try cases from Kawempe and Nabweru Divisions.
Wameli also argued that trying the accused persons in Nabweru is tantamount to abuse of court process by the Directorate of Public Prosecution.
He also noted that the charges before Nabweru court are a sub-set of the alleged facts before the International Crimes Division of High Court- ICD where the trio is battling terrorism and murder related charges in connection to the assassination of Kaweesi.
Wameli relied on a voluminous indictment by the DPP, saying during the trial at ICD, he will adduce evidence to show how the suspects were found with the said National Identity cards during their arrest at Mpondwe Boarder post.
He objected to the trial on several grounds including that the High Court of Uganda is a court of record and it takes precedence over issues in Magistrate’s Court.
Wameli also tendered in the Judgment of High Court Judge, Margaret Oumo Oguli who confirmed that the suspects were tortured and awarded them Shs80m each. Wameli said government owes the suspects money for torture and thus they can’t be tried in the Magistrate’s Court.
However, the State Prosecutor, Hope Mutoni, asked for more time to reply to the issues raised by the defense. The magistrate adjourned the matter until October, 2nd, 2019. Prior to the objection by the defense, prosecution had adduced two witnesses but hadn’t yet introduced them.
It is alleged that while at Nasser Road in March, 2017, Shafiq Kasujja unlawfully designed and printed a National Identity card in the names of Andrew Kwesiga, which was later found with Higenyi Noordin Aramathan.
Prosecution also alleges that Bruhan Balyejusa alias Masiga was found in unlawful possession of four National Identity cards belonging to two of his co-accused. The others were in the names of John Bwambale and Richard Toddy.
If found guilty of the offence, the Registration of Person’s Act 2015, contends that the convict shall be sentenced to seven years imprisonment or a fine of 160 currency points, about Shs3.2m or both