Red Pepper directors denied bail, sent to Luzira till December 5th

The Buganda Road Chief Magistrates court today deferred the ruling on the bail application lodged by the directors of Red Pepper Publications to December 5.

The directors and three editors were today charged with "disturbing the peace of President Museveni" after the Red Pepper allegedly published a story in which they claimed that Uganda wanted to overthrow the regime in Rwanda.

Those facing charges include directors, Arinaitwe Rugyendo, Patrick Mugumya, Johnson Musinguzi, Richard Tusiime and James Mujuni and editors Ben Byarabaha, Richard Kintu and Francis Tumusiime. They had been detained at Nalufenya Prison in Jinja but court today ent them to Luzira.

They all denied the charge.

Through their lawyers Max Mutabingwa and Geoffrey Kandeebe , the directors and employees told court that the offences against them are bailable.

The lawyers presented a number of sureties for the accused adding that the accused work for the Red Pepper, a reputable newspaper which has been in existence since 2001.

"They are of good character and law abiding that they cannot abscond when granted bail,"Mutabingwa said.

However the state objected to the application. State prosecutor Abdul Salam Waiswa told that the defence lawyers had presented a voluminous pile of documents that needed more time for perusal.

"Issues raised require getting affidavits from the investigating officers who are not here.We ask for an adjournment so we can look through them," Waiswa said.

The Chief Magistrate James Eremye Mawanda said that the issues as raised by the state prosecutor were pertinent and needed more time.

"Court must put into consideration both sides of justice. I am allowing prosecution time to look through the documents and respond to the issues because they are pertinent, "Eremye said.

He however noted that he would be away up to 30th November for a training before adjourning the case to December 5 to allow the state to respond and to also give his ruling.

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