Both the prosecution and defense lawyers, in the Kizza Besigye rape case, have today presented their closing arguments and have rested their case. The presiding judge, Justice John Bosco Katutsi told court that he would meet case assessors on Wednesday this week and based on their discussion would set a date for the ruling in the case.
Besigye, the Forum for Democratic Change presidential candidate, is charged with raping Joanita Kyakuwa in 1997.
In his closing statement, the prosecution lawyer, Simon Byabakama, asked court to find Besigye guilty of rape based on the evidence given by the alleged victim. He said court should ignore the minor inconsistencies in Kyakuwa's testimony and the irregularities in the way police handled the case to rule against Besigye.
Kyakuwa's testimony in court regarding her age, when she first related the case to Besigye's former housemaid and the date of the alleged rape differed considerably from the statement she made with the police in 2001.
Besigye's lawyer, David Mpanga, said the inconsistencies were too many to be ignored. He said admitting the evidence given by Kyakuwa would be similar to giving a license for conviction on falsified evidence.
Mpanga called Kyakuwa's testimony unreliable and worthless. He said the overriding factor of the case was to bring Besigye down and not to see justice served in the matter.
Mpanga also pointed out that the prosecution had admitted that its key witness, Joanita Kyakuwa, had been admitted to hospital for mental illness 3 times. He said that the prosecution had inadvertently admitted that Kyakuwa may have erred in her testimony and therefore asked court to dismiss the rape case against Besigye.