The Buganda Road Magistrate Court has committed nine people suspected of masterminding the kidnap and murder of Susan Magara a cashier at Bwendero Dairy Farm in Masindi.
Magara,28 was kidnapped for over three weeks before her lifeless body was found dumped along the Kampala- Entebbe Expressway.
On Thursday the suspects including Mahad Kasalita, the Imam of Usafi Mosque, Hussein Wasswa, 22, a hawker, Yusuf Lubega, 32, a boda boda rider, Muzamiru Ssali, 27, boda boda rider , Hajara Nakandi, 35, a teacher , Abubaker Kyewolwa, 30, a businessman, Hassan Kato Miiro, 22, Ismail Bukenya, a businessman and Musa Abbas Buvumbo, 23 were informed that they had been committed to High Court for hearing of their matter to start.
Key suspect yet to appear
Meanwhile the court was told that Patrick Kasaija, also Pato , the key suspect in the kidnap and murder is in jail in South Africa and is yet to be extradited.
“He fled the country and his extradition is still pending,” said the state prosecutor, Patricia Akello .
The accused’s lawyer Evans Ochieng however protested against Pato’s committal saying it was unlawful because he was not in court.
“Committal cannot be done in absence of the accused. The indictment must be read to the accused at committal and at this stage he must indicate whether he intends to defend himself or not,”Ochieng said.
“Therefore the indictment should be amended to exclude him (Pato) until he is arrested and charged. Then he can be committed after appearing in court.”
Prosecution contends that the accused persons and others still at large on February 7, 2018 kidnapped Magara with intent to procure a ransom or benefit from her liberation from the danger of being murdered.
The Buganda Road grade one magistrate, Robert Mukhanza however adjourned the matter to November 19 to be able to rule on whether Pato can be dropped from the charge sheet pending his extradition or not.
Susan Magara was kidnapped as she left work along Kabaka Anjagala road in Rubaga division.
She was later killed despite her family reportedly giving the kidnappers Shs700 million as ransom.
In an operation mounted by both police and the army , majority of the suspects were arrested from Usafi mosque in Kisenyi, Kampala before being slapped with charges related to murder and kidnap in a bid to procure a ransom.