By Hanning Mbabazi
ARUA: Court in Arua presided over by Grade One Magistrate Swaleh Asiku has Friday morning cleared the Mityana Municipality Legislator Francis Zaake of the offence of escaping from custody.
In his ruling, the Magistrate said that the virtue of the SFC dumping Zaake at Arua Central Police station without identifying themselves indicated that they knew what they did (torture) was wrong. “The fact that the police left the accused (Zaake) at the hospital unguarded, meant that he was not a suspect. I now acquit the accused because he has no case to answer.” Said Magistrate Asiku.
The legislator was arrested from Kampala early this year and transferred to Arua where he was charged for escaping from lawful custody before being released on bail. However, the law maker claims that he was brutalised and detained in unknown places where he languished for weeks.He said they dumped him near Rubaga hospital fearing that he would die in their hands. Zaake and Kyaddondo East Member of Parliament, Mr Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine, were among the 33 suspects arrested in Arua on allegations of stoning President Yoweri Museveni’s convoy on August 13, during the Arua Municipality by-election campaigns.
The suspects were allegedly tortured while in detention. Kyagulanyi and Zaake were advised to seek specialised treatment abroad. However, the two were blocked from leaving the country and subsequently arrested at Entebbe Airport. They were taken to Kiruddu Hospital and placed under the guard of Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence for days. Kyagulanyi was later cleared by the medical board and police to travel to the US for treatment but Zaake wasn’t. Days thereafter Zaake was also later cleared to travel to India for medical attention after police accusing him of escaping from their custody and granting him bail.