The Court of Appeal in Kampala has summoned the Director of Public Prosecutions and the officer in charge of the upper prison at Luzira to explain the continued detention of Amir Kinene despite his acquittal, two years ago.
The International Crimes Division of the High Court in Kampala in August 2017 acquitted Kinene, his brother Hakeem Kinene, Abdul Rashid Sematimba, Hamza Kasirye, Twaha Sekitto, Rashid Jingo, Musa Isa Mubiru and Yiga George William of terrorism charges in relation to the murder and attempted murder of Muslim clerics.
On Monday, the court of Appeal judges including Deputy Chief Justice Alphonse Owiny-Dollo, Cheborion Barishaki and Elizabeth Musoke were astonished to hear that Kinene is still in detention at Luzira two years after his acquittal by court.
When the judges demanded to know the circumstances under this has happened, the DPP’s representative, Senior State Attorney Stanley Baine said he didn’t have particulars of the offence but Kinene was in prison over another matter.
“I don’t have particulars of the offence but it is a different matter against him,”Baine told court.
The judges led by the Deputy Chief Justice fumed over the manner in which a person acquitted and released by court could be kept in detention by prison authorities.
The judge then asked prison warders to explain the circumstances leading to the detention and in explanation, Assistant Superintendent of Prisons Sam Okiria told court that there was a contention in regards Kinene’s acquittal from the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions forcing them to continue detaining him.
“There was something which was not clear from the DPP and we had to retain him but I don’t have details in the matter.I need to consult my bosses for that particular files before getting back to court with an explanation,”Okiria said.
The three justices were astonished to be told that someone can be detained in prison without any court order.
“A court acquits someone and you continue detaining him! The judgment was very clear but why would you keep him in detention,”Dollo added.
The court then ordered the officer in charge of the upper prison at Luzira and the Directorate of Public Prosecutions to appear before it on Tuesday to explain the circumstances under which Amir Kinene is detained despite his acquittal, two years ago.
The court also ordered that Kinene also be produced on the same fay.