DPP drops charges against ‘key suspect’ in Susan Magara murder

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The Director of Public Prosecutions(DPP) has dropped charges against Patrick Kasaija also known as Pato who was at one time referred to as the key suspect in the kidnap and subsequent murder of Susan Magara.

On Monday, senior state attorney, Irene Nakimbugwe told the High Court that the DPP has decided to drop charges against Kasaija.

“The DPP wishes to withdraw charges against accused number one(Kasaija) and I have a nolle prosequi signed by her to that effect,” Nakimbugwe told court.

She also presented the amended indictment and summary of evidence to the High Court criminal division acting deputy registrar, Didas Muhumuza who adjourned the matter to October, 23, 2023 for trial to begin.

The matter is handled by Justice Alex Ajiji.

Pato

Patrick Kasaija was in 2018 described by the state as the mastermind of the kidnap and murder of Susan Magara.

After arresting some suspects, police named Kasaija, Byensi Yakoub and Zahra as the other missing suspects in the kidnap and subsequent murder of Magara.

Investigators insisted that Kasaija, also known as Pato, a Ugandan Citizen commonly known for cruising around in posh motor vehicles with personalised number plates named ‘Pato’ had left the country carrying the ransom money paid by the family of the late Susan Magara after her murder.

Security said Pato had travelled to South Africa on February 25, 2018, a day after the ransom worth Sh700 million was paid to the kidnappers.

President Museveni in 2018  called his South African counterpart, Cyril Ramaphosa in regards Pato’s extradition.

He was later extradited to Uganda.

Police explained their actions to ask their counterparts in South Africa to arrest and extradite him back to Uganda noting that it is highly suspected he was behind the voice on the phone that negotiated the one million dollar ransom demanded for by the kidnappers.

“In addition, his conduct towards the end of the ordeal was very suspicious, when on the February, 13, 2018, he applied for a Visa to South Africa, with a flight plan for February 16, 2018, 2018,” police spokesperson, Fred Enanga said in the statement.

“Instead he left Entebbe International Airport, on the February, 17 2018, for Harare through Nairobi, where he however, stopped, falsely declared to immigration officials, how he was returning to Uganda, from, Accra, Ghana.”

According to police, Pato then miraculously returned to Uganda on the same day and coincidentally, travelled by road on February, 24 2018, through Botswana to South Africa, the same date the advance ransom payment was delivered.

“The suspect possessed two Passports; Number B0661869 that was valid until 3/03/2018, in the names of Agaba Patrick, and Number B1177225, which is valid till 19/01/2025 in the names of Kasaija Patrick.”

“The suspect is still presumed innocent until proven beyond reasonable doubt. His case file is being processed for the attention of the DPP, who upon perusal will determine whether to jointly charge the suspect with the eight others on remand or not,”Enanga noted.

The case

Kasaija was accused alongside Mahad Kasalita, the former imam of Usafi makeshift mosque Yusuf Lubega, Hussein Wasswa, Muzamiru Ssali, Abubaker Kyewolwa, Hassan Kato Miiro, Amir Bukenya and Hajara Nakandi of masterminding the kidnap and murder of Susan Magara.

Magara, 28, who was working as the administrator for the family businesses as well as a cashier for Bwendo Dairy Farm in Hoima was kidnapped in Mengo as she left work to drive home in Lungujja on February 7, 2018.

She was held captive for three weeks, before being killed and the killers dumped her body in Kitiko Village between Kajjansi and Kigo along the Entebbe Express highway despite being given the shs700 million ransom that they had asked for from the family.

According to the indictment, the plan to kidnap Magara was hatched by Yakub Byensi, a former ADF combatant who also hails from Bunyoro as the deceased as was known to her family as well as Yusuf Lubega who used to work with the deceased’s family in Container Village.

 

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