MPs ask to be remanded in fear of re-arrest

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MPs ask to be remanded in fear of re-arrest
The MPs pleaded with the court to send them on remand | Courtesy

Legislators Michael Mawanda, Paul Akamba, and Mudimi Wamakuyu together with lawyer Julius Kirya Friday asked court to send them on remand instead of setting them free on bail.

The legislators had appeared before the  Anti-Corruption Court chief magistrate Joan Aciro where they were read cases of diverting public funds and causing government financial loss.

The attorneys told the magistrate that they were not sure of the safety of their clients once released on bail and would rather be sent on remand.

Mawanda and Wamakuyu were arrested on Wednesday, joining Akamba - who had been detained since June 16 having been arrested for a separate but similar corruption charges.

"We are deferring our rights to apply for bail," said Mwesigwa Rukutana, one of the lawyers of Mr Mawanda.

The legislators were brought at the Anti-Corruption Court in Nakasero amidst heavy security

The court room was filled with relatives, the defendants and state attorneys who eagerly waited for court session to kick off.

Paraded in the dock, Mawanda, Akamba and Wamakuyu along Kirya from Kirya and Company Advocates, were read charges of diverting public funds for their own benefit and causing government financial loss.

All pleaded not guilty.

The court was, however, taken aback when the suspects requested to be sent on remand.

Mr Rukutana, one of the defendants of Mawanda, told Court that the environment outside was not convenient and therefore the accused would only be safe when remanded.

"The clouds outside are very dark and we fear it might rain on our clients once granted bail," Rukutana told Magistrate Aciro, who asked him to drop the metaphors.

Speaking to Nile Pst reporter, the defence attorneys pointed to the safety of their clients when rearrested.

There are fears as to whether police can respect bail granted by court after Mr Akamba was last week rearrested shortly after granting him bail.

The manner in which Akamba was also arrested prompted some to believe it's better to be remanded than being man handled and taken to unknown places.

Prosecution led by the state attorney Edward Muhumuza told the court that file is ready and are only waiting for court to set a date to commence prosecution

However, prosecution could not avail the evidence against the accused to their defense attorneys as required by law asking for one month to have the evidence ready to the amusement of the accused and their lawyers.

Both the state and defence attorneys have been asked to appear before the same court on June 24 for the defence to give an update on disclosure of the evidence while the accused have been remanded up to July 9 when their case is expected to be heard.

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