Attempts to have 11 suspected members of the People's Redemption Army released on bail hit a snag this morning after lawyers of the accused, walked out of the High Court protesting the Solicitor General's application to block the suspects' release.
On Wednesday, the Solicitor General, Lucien Tibaruha, filed an application seeking a review of the High Court's decision to grant bail to the suspects. The application was supported by an affidavit sworn by Captain James Katabazi, also a suspected rebel fighter, who was granted amnesty two weeks ago. In the affidavit, Katabazi said there is a high possibility that the suspects, who were granted bail in December 2005, would escape from the country if released from jail.
The Solicitor General's actions are the latest in a series of attempts to keep the suspects behind bars, despite rulings by the Constitutional Court and the Court of Appeals outlawing their continued detention. The High Court has also issued instructions to the prisons authorities to produce the suspects in court, which have gone unheeded.
None of the 11 suspects were brought to court today, much to the chagrin of their lawyers. The lawyers, led by Sam Njuba, argued that they would not be party to an application that seeks to undermine court orders.
The court session ended prematurely, without a pronouncement on the matter.
Speaking shortly after the session, the president of the Forum for Democratic Change, Kiiza Besigye, called the High Court an impotent arm of the State. Besigye said it is useless for the lawyers to continue pursuing the case of the suspected members of the People's Redemption Army in the High Court, because it has failed to exercise its constitutional right.
//Cue in: iThis is a solemn declaration #i
Cue out: i# from now onwards.i//
Besigye's younger brother, Joseph Musasizi, is among the 11 detained suspects.