The Court of Appeal in Kampala has ordered the army to release six aides to former intelligence chief, Gen.David Sejusa who have been in detention after being convicted of plotting to overthrow government.
The six including Lance Corporal Grace Nasasira, Geoffrey Karugaba, Private Frank Ninsiima, Nayebare James Karuhanga, Nuwagaba Moses Kakarugahi and Abel Twinamatsiko worked in various capacities in the Office of the Coordinator of Intelligence Services formerly headed by Gen Sejusa but were in 2016 sentenced to 15 years imprisonment.
They later appealed against the sentence through their lawyer, David Mushabe.
On Monday, a panel of three judges including the Deputy Chief Justice, Alfonse Owiny Dollo, Elizabeth Musoke and Cheborion Barishaki ordered for their release after the Director of Public Prosecutions gave a green light to the release.
“The conviction of years for the offence of treachery and aiding and abetting the commission of treachery is quashed. The respective sentences are set aside,” the judges of the Court of Appeal ruled on Monday.
“The appellants are discharged and set free unless being held on other lawful charges.”
The panel of judges of the Court of Appeal based their ruling on a letter by the DPP dated March 14 ,2019 in which he said the conviction and sentence of the six should be quashed because the prosecution(from UPDF) had failed to present documentary, collaborative evidence or any other form of exhibits pinning them to the offence.
“I have made up critical analysis and have come to the conclusion that I concede to the appellants’ arguments in all the 13 grounds with the exception of ground six on no case to answer. I will not argue because it will not serve any purpose,” a document from the DPP to the Court of Appeal read in part.
According to the army prosecution, the group and others still at large between March and May 2013 while in Mityana and Kampala consciously failed to disclose to authorities vital information about the recruitment of people to engage in activities intended to overthrow the Ugandan government.
The army court was also told that the two Special Forces Command soldiers who were part of the group were courted by their co-accused to recruit colleagues from the presidential guard into subversive activities.
They were later convicted of all the charges before being sentenced to 15 years imprisonment.