The High Court has dismissed an application by Minister Mary Goretti Kitutu to block her trial in the Karamoja iron sheet scandal citing torture and violation of her rights.
Kitutu had asked court to stop her trial noting that investigations into the matter and the resultant criminal charges were irreparably tainted with gross abuse of her non-derogable rights.
However, in her ruling, Justice Jane Okuo noted that there has not been evidence adduced to prove the allegations by Minister Kitutu.
“It is interesting that the applicant turns around, or changes position and uses the respondent's evidence of being kept alone in a cell by herself as grounds for solitary confinement which is an act of torture, when she had previously stated on oath that she was not alone in her cell. It would appear that the applicant is accepting this piece of evidence of being accorded a private room because it suits her ends and forgets that it contradicts her earlier averments,” the judge ruled.
“In light of the foregoing, I dismiss the applicant's claims that she was intentionally forced to sit on a stool the whole night as an act of torture for the purposes specified in the Prevention and Prohibition of Torture Act.”
The judge also dismissed as mere allegations, claims by Kitutu that media reporting in her case was biased and not fair to her.
“I have scrutinized the articles presented, along with the evidence in the affidavits
and the submissions. I have seen and analyzed articles mentioned. do not reflect that the applicant was targeted and portrayed as guilty. She was not singled out neither is there any report that says she is guilty. As the minister responsible for Karamoja it is expected that she would be at the centre of the investigations. The media cannot be gagged from reporting matters of public concern fairly.”
“Failing to prove that the applicant was portrayed as a guilty Person, I am unable to find that her right to a fair trial has been infringed and that she is not likely to receive justice in the trial court on account of the reporting.”
The judge consequently dismissed Kitutu’s application.