The Director of Public Prosecutions Richard Buteera has appealed against the recent acquittal of the last bunch of 11 Buganda riot suspects saying he is dissatisfied with it. On May 15, High Court Judge Ralph Ochan freed the last group of 11 suspects who had initially been part of the 25 suspects on grounds that they did not have a case to answer.
The Director of Public Prosecutions Richard Buteera has appealed against the recent acquittal of the last bunch of 11 Buganda riot suspects saying he is dissatisfied with it.
Buteera, through Principal State Attorney Carol Nabassa, filed the notice to appeal before the Court of Appeal on May 15.
The notice however, does not include the grounds on which the DPP is basing to appeal.
He has instead notified the appellate court that he will formulate the grounds of appeal after obtaining a certified copy of the high court records.
On May 15, High Court Judge Ralph Ochan freed the last group of 11 suspects who had initially been part of the 25 suspects on grounds that they did not have a case to answer.
He held that the prosecution had failed to adduce credible evidence warranting them to put up their defense over allegations of participating in the September 2009 riots that left at least 30 people dead. Among the properties destroyed during the riots was Nateete Police Station, which was set ablaze.
While freeing the suspects who were facing terrorism charges, the judge castigated police for ignoring the basic requirements in investigations and fundamental rights of the then accused.
The judge also blamed the state for assigning junior officers to investigate a case of such seriousness.
Those who were freed on May 15 include; Robert Ssekabira, Musa Sendeo alias Kakono, Kamada Nsubuga, Hakim Lwanga, Richard Kijjambu and Sam Ssemambo. The others are Muzafaru Mugisha, Salim Magoba, Elisa Mujuni, Mohamed Sekatawa and Meddie Nsubuga.
When contacted about this development, Apollo Makubuya, the Buganda Kingdom attorney general and one of the lawyers who represented the suspects during the trial, said he had not received the notice to appeal.
He, however, said its DPP’s constitutional right to appeal though he does not see him winning it and that he is just wasting the tax payer’s money.
Makubuya further noted that the suspects are working hard along with their lawyers to lodge a law suit against government seeking compensation for malicious prosecution since they had not committed any crime.
On September 10, 2009, violence broke out in Buganda region when Buganda loyalists rioted following the blocking of the Katikiro JB Walusimbi from accessing Kayunga district, ahead of Kabaka Ronald Muwenda’s visit to the area.
justice ralph ochan
dpp richard buteera