After spending nearly four years on remand over charges of aiding and abetting terrorism, belonging or confessing to belong to a terrorist organization and referring support to a terror organization, the state has lost interest in the prosecution of 11 suspects who were arrested in connection to the murder and other alleged terror activities.
Following the November 26, 2016 murder of army officer and Muslim cleric, Maj. Muhammad Kiggundu, the police arrested a number of people suspected of being part of a group linked to the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebel group that the police accused of gunning down the Sheikh.
The suspects are, Abdulaziz Abdushakur Musoke, Sulaiman Wayaba alias Bashir Lukenge, Bashir Nyangisho alias Abdallah Katata Byansi alias Abdallah Katata, Sulait Majid Lukwago and Fikil Yusuf Alqaeda Abasi.
Others are Abubaker Katende alias Baker Abby Abu Kakooza, Lukia Namulondo alias Maama Ashiraf, Malik Senabulya, Yasin Galiwango Kagwa, Usama Aula Mugozi alias Maliwa and Asuman Musijjo alias Uthman Taata Rajahana.
On Thursday, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Justice Jane Frances Abodo, informed the international crimes division of the High Court that she had withdrawn terrorism charges against the eleven suspects.
State Attorney Jackeline Okwir tabled the DPP’s letter withdrawing the charges against the accused persons before the International crimes division Judge, David Wangutsi on Thursday afternoon when the matter came up for pre-conferencing.
The accused were not present in court due to the Covid-19 restrictions their lawyers, Geoffrey Turyamusiima and Sylvia Namawejje witnessed the court discontinued their charges.
Shortly after receiving the letter, Justice Wangututsi ordered the immediate release of the accused persons from Luzira prison where they have been since they were remanded in 2017.
The suspect’s lawyer, Turyamusiima was happy with the decision but said they sue for the torture of their clients and also seek compensation for malicious prosecution.
Details of the Case
Prosecution alleged that between 2010 and 2017 in various districts, the accused persons aided or abetted terrorism by mobilizing funds, purchasing commodities and harbouring recruits of the ADF, a terror organization.
They reportedly did this while knowing or having reason to believe that the support would be applied or used in preparation or commission of acts of terrorism.
According to the charge sheets, the accused reportedly recruited, trained and transported ADF recruits from Uganda to the Democratic Republic of Congo.
It is also alleged that they belonged or confessed to belonging to ADF terror group that had a presence in districts such as Kampala, Wakiso, Mukono, Jinja, Iganga, Bugiri , Busia , Tororo, Masaka and Mbarara among others.
According to the summary of the case, between October and November 2016, police received intelligence information that ADF had deployed its operatives from DRC to coordinate with their agents in Uganda and carry out terrorist attacks targeting high government officials, recruit members into ADF and mobilize funds to support ADF activities among others
Records also show that on November 26 2016, the accused persons participated in the murder of Kigundu and his bodyguard Sergeant Steven Mukasa.
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