Justice seems near for AIGP Kaweesi as court sets date for pre-trial hearing

After four full years since his death, court has set the date for the pre-trial hearing of the case in which eight people are accused of masterminding the gruesome murder of AIGP Andrew Felix Kaweesi.

Kaweesi, the then police spokesperson was shot dead by unknown assailants on the morning of March,17, 2017 together with his bodyguard Kenneth Erau and driver Godfrey Mambewa near his home in Kulambiro.

Last week, it clocked four years since the gruesome murder of the police director but the trial for the suspects has not yet begun.

However, on Tuesday Justice Duncan Gaswaga of the International Crimes Division of the High Court in Kampala set May 10 -14 as the dates for the pre-trial in the matter.

“After consent from both sides, the pretrial hearing is set for May 10 to 14 and the case is adjourned to that date,”Gaswaga said on Tuesday when the case came up for mention.

Earlier, the state prosecutors led by Lino Anguzu, an assistant Director of Public Prosecutions told court that they have disclosed to the accused’s lawyers almost all evidence they intend to rely on in the matter.

“There is still remaining one piece of evidence which was still with forensics for analysis but by the end of the day, we will have made photocopies and shared with our colleagues,”Anguzu said.

In response,  the accused’s lawyers led by Geoffrey Turyamusiima acknowledged receipt of some of the evidence from the prosecution but also informed court that they filed an application for infringement of their rights by the state.

Justice Duncan Gaswaga asked the lawyer to file written evidence for the application to be heard on the same date as the pretrial.

Amazed

Last year, the judge was amazed when he was told that for three years, since 2017 when the suspects were indicted, the prosecution had not yet been able to assess the evidence they are to use in the case.

“The suspects were indicted in 2017 which makes it three years now. I don’t know whether what you have failed to do in three years can be done in three weeks,” Gaswaga said as the prosecutors asked for more weeks.

Consequently, the judge set August, 17- 28, 2020 as the dates for the pre-hearing of the case but later, the same never happened.

Charges

Eight people including Abdulrashid Mbazira, Aramazan Higenyi, Yusuf Mugerwa, Bruhan Balyejusa, Joshua Kyambadde Magezi, Gibriel Kalyango, Yusuf Nyanzi, and Shafik Kasujja are indicted on three charges.

The group is accused of masterminding and orchestrating of AIGP Andrew Felix Kaweesi, his bodyguard Kenneth Erau and driver Godfrey Mambewa.

They are also accused of aggravated robbery and carrying out acts of terrorism.

However, two of them, Abdulrashid Mbazira and  Aramazan Higenyi are currently on remand in Luzira  where they are facing charges related to being members of ADF, a designated terrorist organization.

The group that was arrested by a joint security team of the Police and the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence days after the gruesome murder of the police chief were later detained at the infamous Nalufenya detention centre in Jinja district.

They were later produced to Nakawa Chief Magistrates court where they accused security of torturing them.

Displaying torture marks all over their bodies and others limping, the group insisted the torture was aimed at forcing them to confess to the killing of AIGP Andrew Felix Kaweesi.

The 22 suspects later sued government over torture and were consequently awarded shs80 million each by the High Court in Kampala but they are yet to receive their compensation.

The group has together with their families and those of the deceased been waiting for justice in the case for now four years and it remains to be seen if on May 10, justice will have come nearer with the beginning of the pretrial hearing.

 

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