By Spy Uganda
The International Crimes Division of the High Court in Kampala, Uganda has confirmed terrorism financing charges against former Guantanamo Bay prisoner Jamal Kiyemba.
Kiyemba, 44, also known as Tonny Kiyemba, was arrested last year and arraigned before the Chief Magistrates Court and charged with belonging to a terrorist organization contrary to section 11(1) (a) and (b) of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2002. He was later committed to the International Crimes Division (ICD) for trial.
A pretrial at the ICD conducted by Justice Alice Komuhangi confirmed charges against Kiyemba of belonging to the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a rebel outfit operating in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and soliciting financial support for the ADF.
The court heard that between 2021 and January 2022, while in Uganda and the DRC, Kiyemba belonged or professed to belong to the ADF, a designated terrorist organization, by recruiting persons for it along with others still at large. The judge ruled that the prosecution has adduced incriminating evidence warranting the accused to stand trial.
In the evidence produced to the court during the pretrial session, the prosecution told the court that Kiyemba has been a radical since 1999 and that he has openly expressed his admiration for, belief in and support for terrorist organizations such as Al Qaeda, Al-Shabaab and the ADF.
Kiyemba is expected to appear before a panel of three justices or a judge appointed by the head of the division to take a plea before the trial commences. He was remanded to prison as he awaits the fixing of a date for the hearing of the case.
The defense lawyer, Geoffrey Turyamusiima, said the accused made a charge and caution statement, admitting the offences when he was mentally ill, adding the police did not subject the accused to a medical examination before extracting a charge and caution statement from him to establish whether he is not mentally ill.
Kiyemba was granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK, where his mother, four brothers and sister all live. The former pharmacy student at a university in Leicester travelled to Pakistan in 2002, where he was arrested for alleged links to al-Qaeda and was later held at Guantanamo Bay for four years until he was released in 2006 without charge and later received £1 million ($1.5 million) in compensation for wrongful imprisonment and abuse of his human rights.
He was returned to Uganda and imprisoned after former British Home Secretary Charles Clarke personally intervened to keep him out of Britain on “national security grounds.” He claimed the Americans forced him, under torture, to confess to terrorist activities and that Britain’s domestic counterintelligence agency the MI5 interrogated him repeatedly, quizzing him about British terror suspects and the jailed clerics Abu Hamza and Abu Qatada.
“I may not be British according to some bit of paper, but in reality, I am a Brit and always will be,” he told human rights lawyer Clive Stafford Smith when he was in Guantanamo.
“My doctor, my local mosque, my education, employment, friends, taxes, home and above all else my family, it is all in Britain.”