Anti Corruption Court Fate to be Decided Friday

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In short
The Constitutional Court has deferred the passing of the judgment that was to decide the fate of suspended Anti Corruption Court to Friday this week.

The Constitutional Court has deferred the passing of the judgment that was to decide the fate of suspended Anti Corruption Court to Friday this week.
 
The much anticipated judgment had been scheduled for Wednesday but two of the justices had an abrupt call to State House leaving the panel less by two.
 
This was revealed by the court’s registrar John Erutu.
 
However, Erutu declined to name the two justices who were  called to the State House.
 
The judgment was expected to be read by Acting Chief Justice Steven Kavuma. Other justices who were supposed to be on the panel include; Remmy Kasule, Geoffrey Kiryabwire, Solomy Balungi Bossa and Lillian Tibatemwa.
 
 In July this year, the Constitutional Court stayed all the criminal proceedings that were going on in the High Court, Anti Corruption Division and those arising from the magistrates pending the determination of the main petition, which judgment is to be passed today.
 
This petition was filed before the court by city lawyer Davis Wesley Tusingwire, who is challenging the judicial duties executed by the magistrates attached to the High Court, Anti Corruption Division as being unconstitutional.
 
The court’s verdict could see all the corruption convicts who went through the Anti Corruption court could set free from jail if court is convinced that it was illegal for the magistrates attached to Anti Corruption Court to execute judicial duties.

On the contrary, the Constitutional Court could order that the suspension of the Anti Corruption Court be lifted and operations resume normally.
 
When the substantive petition came up for hearing on September 13 this year, Fred Muwema, the lawyer who represented Tusingwire in court, asked the Constitutional Court to nullify all the judgments made by the suspended Anti Corruption Court since its inception in 2009.
 
Muwema argued that the magistrate court attached to High Court, Anti Corruption Division is an incompetent court which is unknown to the law and the judgments arising there-in, should be declared a nullity.
 
Further, Muwema submitted that judgments of the High Court, Anti Corruption Division should also be declared a nullity since the same proceedings there and judgments arise from this ‘incompetent’ magistrate court.
 
On the contrary, George Kalemera who represented the Attorney General during the hearing of the main petition argued that there is no illegality committed by the magistrates to perform judicial duties at the anti-graft court.
 
Kalemera defended the existence of the magistrate court attached to the Anti Corruption Court on grounds that the out-going Chief Justice Benjamin Odoki in establishing the Anti Corruption Division of the High Court, based on article 133 (a) and 232 of the constitution that empowers him to establish a special court to combat corruption with designated magistrates to assist the two judges of that court.
 
The court was established in 2009 with the main aim of combating corruption cases. Over 251 cases were affected in this closure of the very court.
 
The delivery of this judgment comes at the time when the anti-corruption crusaders had threatened to demonstrate if the judiciary had not delivered this judgment by the end of this month.
 
The anti corruption crusaders led by Cissy Kagaba, argued that the continued closure of the anti-graft court was becoming a stumbling block to the fight against corruption.