Suspects who were arrested in connection to the wave of murders in the Masaka sub-region have asked the court to grant them bail.
The five suspects who include Badru Kirega, Bernard Musumba, Frank Tamale, Faisal Kabuye, and Wilson Ssenyonga, were arrested between August and September last year on allegations that they participated in the hacking people the Masaka and Lwengo districts.
They argue that the state has failed to conclude investigations into the case.
While appearing in court on Thursday to receive updates on investigations, the suspects told the Masaka Grade One Magistrate Christine Nantege, that they have waited for the state to conclude investigations and commit them to High Court for trial.
Tamale through his lawyer Ernest Kaliba, raised concerns of his continued stay on remand beyond the six months, despite the failure by the state to conclude investigations into offenses.
He told the court the suspect has been on remand since September 10 2021 and that since then the State Attorney has been seeking adjournments, an indication that the state has failed to find incriminating evidence against the suspect.
He asked the Magistrate to invoke section 75 of the Magistrates Court Act, which grants the release on mandatory bail of accused persons after the expiration of the pretrial remand of six months without being committed to for trial.
The other suspects Badru Kairega, Bernard Musumba, and Faisal Kabuye also pleaded with the magistrate to grant them temporary release, arguing that while they patiently waited for evidence against them, the state has failed to find it.
Musumba told the court that there is no reason they are still in prison without due trial yet they have pending demands in their respective homes.
But Nantege, ruled that the suspects give the State Attorney one last chance to prepare their committal papers, saying should the investigations remain incomplete on the next adjournment of March 23rd, the court will consider their appeals.
Richard Birivumbuka, the Masaka Resident Chief State Attorney told the court that the delays in investigations are procedural which he says that they are addressing.
He also noted that they have found the need to make some amendments in the accused persons’ charge sheet on file for purposes of sustaining prosecution, arguing all their processes will be complete before the next adjournment.
According to court records, the suspects are facing six counts of murder and attempted murder in connection to incidents that occurred in the Masaka sub-region between Aguste and September last year.
The other suspects charged with related offenses are Members of Parliament Allan Ssewanyana for Makindye West and Muhammad Ssegirinya for Kawempe North.