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Treason case against Bobi, 36 others goes unheard for three years

The treason case against the leader of Opposition party National Unity Platform (NUP), Mr Robert Kyagulanyi, aka Bobi Wine, and 36 others is still unheard, three years after the suspects were committed to court.
The group was sent to Gulu High Court to stand trial over several charges arising from alleged pelting of President Museveni’s motorcade following the Arua Municipality by-election fracas on August 6, 2018.

The suspects are accused of treason, failure to prevent obstruction of traffic flow, confusion or disorder during a public meeting contrary to Section 10, 1(c ), (f), (3) and (4) of the Public Order Management Act as well asfailure to give right of way contrary to Section 176(2) of the Traffic and Road Safety Act.

Speaking to this newspaper yesterday, Ms Jacquelyn Okui, the spokesperson of the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, said they played their part when they sent the group to the High Court.
“When we commit accused persons to the High Court for trial, it is an indication that we are ready to prosecute the matter. Committal is usually done when investigations are complete,”Ms Okui said.

“Now we await the cause-listing of the matter for trial and then we proceed with the prosecution… Find out from the Judiciary on when they will cause-list the matter for hearing,” she added.

When contacted Mr Jamson Karemani, the Judiciary spokesperson, attributed the delay to few judges.
“We have always said we have so many cases pending before us and yet we lack enough manpower. But we shall cause-list it and hear it. We have a policy of ‘first-in’, ‘first out,’ ” he said.

Mr Benjamin Katana, Bobi Wine’s lawyer, said the defence legal team made several attempts to have the trial kick off but in vain.
“The case was committed to the High Court for hearing but they have never written to us to appear before any judge. Delayed justice is denied justice,” Mr Katana yesterday.

“It could be that they don’t even have evidence against Bobi and the other politicians. We are waiting on them and if they call us, we shall present ourselves,” he added.

Mr Katana also said at the time of Bobi’s arrest in Arua, three of his vehicles were confiscated and according to the court documents they received, the cars were not part of the exhibits needed in the case but they have never been returned despite writing to authorities.

Other suspects include former Ntungamo Municipality MP Gerald Karuhanga, former Jinja East MP Paul Mwiru, and former Arua Municipality MP Kassiano Wadri.

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