Court says no bail relief pill to dispense for ex-Mulago boss

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Court says no bail relief pill to dispense for ex-Mulago boss
Dr Byarugaba Baterana

A former Mulago Hospital executive director walked into court today expecting just a little bit of bail relief pills but a magistrate told him the dock was not a pharmacy.

Dr Bonaventura Byarugaba Baterana, used to dispensing pain relief pills to his patients, was no patient enough before Grade One Magistrate Abert Asiimwe but just another suspect to remand.

Along with nine others, Baterana will remain on remand until June 27 when he will have another chance to ask for the "pain relief".

The group faces charges of abuse of office and causing financial loss to the government.

Lawyers representing the accused argued for their release, stating that the prosecution has not completed its investigation despite two years having passed since the charges were filed.

"We believe our clients have a right to bail," said David Kamukama, one of the defence lawyers.

"The prosecution has had ample time to gather evidence, and further detention is unnecessary."

However, the prosecution expressed concerns about potential flight risk.

"Several of the accused have a history of skipping police bond," Gloria Inzikuru, a chief state attorney, argued.

"There's a real possibility they might abscond trial if released on bail."

Magistrate Asiimwe requested three days to review the bail applications and supporting documents submitted by the accused and their sureties before issuing his verdict on June 27.

Dr Baterana and his co-accused, who include former Mulago top administrators Eng Edward Kataha, Kenneth Wafula, Adah Kamucunguzi, Perezi Matanda, Charles Mwasa, and Ponziano Nyeko, are charged with abuse of office for allegedly authorising payments to Setramaco Limited and Convention World Limited for services not rendered.

The owners of these companies, Catherine Winifred Nabwire and Robert Wasike, were also arrested on similar charges.

The case remains ongoing, and the upcoming bail decision will determine whether the accused await trial behind bars or are released with restrictions

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