By Spy Uganda
Controversy has arisen in the judiciary after government has failed to prosecute suspects who were arrested in 2017 over allegations that they had a hand in and or masterminded the murder of former Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIGP) Andrew Felix Kaweesi.
Kaweesi, who was also a police spokesperson, was shot dead on March 17th, 2019 outside his residence in Kulambiro, a city suburb, as he was being driven to work. His driver Godfrey Mambewa and bodyguard Kenneth Erau were also shot dead by the assailants.
Following the brutal murder, several suspects were arrested and remanded Luzira Prisons but to date hearing of their case has since hit a dead end.
The suspects include; Abdulrashid Mbazira, Aramazan Higenyi, Yusuf Mugerwa, Bruhan Balyejusa, Joshua Kyambadde Magezi, Gibriel Kalyango, Yusuf Nyanzi, and Shafik Kasujja.
Although some other suspects were freed during the course of time, government is currently stuck with eight suspects who are currently languishing in jail even after the High Court ordered the state to release the men and compensate them for being wrongly arrested after failing to prosecute them.
But the pre-trial hearing of the case adjourned to next month after the case came up at the International Crimes Division of the High Court in Kampala stalled after prosecution led by Senior Principal State Attorney Lino Anguzo told Court that they are not ready for the pre-trial hearing.
“My Lord, a lot of things have not yet been put in place. We have not yet disclosed our evidence to the defence side,” Anguzo said.
She added that; “We have not yet assessed the evidence we have to find out if we will have any preliminary applications to make for the protection of witnesses and any other preliminary matters.”
Anguzo also told court that prosecution will have a total of 30 witnesses and three weeks will be enough for them to assess the evidence.
However, the trial judge, Justice Duncan Gaswaga, was shocked that since 2017 when the suspects were indicted, the prosecution has not yet been able to assess the evidence they have, yet according to law justice delayed is justice denied.
“The suspects were indicted in 2017 which makes it three years now. I don’t know whether what you have failed to do in three years can be done in three weeks,” Gaswaga told prosecution.
But the defence lawyers led by Anthony Wameli told court that on all occasions they have asked for a disclosure of evidence from their prosecutions counterparts in vain.
“We have not yet received any disclosure despite several requests from us to them,” Wameli told court.
The lawyer also asked the court for more time to enable his team access some of the accused persons who are currently on remand at Luzira on other charges but have since been denied access to lawyers.
Justice Gaswaga reasoned with all the two sides and adjourned the matter to July 21, 2020, for conferencing to begin, noting that the entire pre-trial process will take six weeks.
“The exact pre-trial will happen between August 17- 28, 2020,” he noted.