Justice Augustus Kania, the Arua Resident Judge, has warned police and judicial officers against mishandling and manipulating case files, to frustrate court proceedings.
The warning stems from reports by Beatrice Ngozi, a consultant with the Chain-linked programme that her office has found out that several case files have disappeared mysteriously from the police stations.
Presiding over the Chain-linked judicial programme meeting at the Arua High Court, on Thursday, Justice Kania noted that stealing or hiding case files is tantamount to strangling and killing justice.
Kania said there is growing concern that some judicial officers are not only stealing and hiding case files, but also taking bribes to divert the course of justice. He warned that such acts are criminal, and the culprits must be tracked down and dealt with.
The judge also said he is also concerned about reports that officers in charge of postmortems demand for money before they can release the results to the relevant authorities.
Nathan Mugisha, the Regional Police Commander, told participants that whenever a case file gets lost, the handling officer is always held accountable.
Meanwhile, Arua Chief Magistrate, Joseph Omodo-Nyanga, suggested an increase in the number of Grade One Magistrates, in Koboko and Yumbe districts to handle the backlog of cases.
The chain linked initiative is aimed at improving coordination, communication and cooperation among the stakeholders in the Criminal Justice Agencies within a Magisterial Area.