Corruption Convict Rebuttals over Unsigned Charge-sheet

3018 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Stephen Wakhweya argues that the conviction and the eventual two-year sentence handed to him should be nullified since the DPP did not consent to the charges prior to his arraignment in court.

A corruption convict has petitioned the Constitution Court on grounds that the charge sheet that led to his conviction, was not consented to by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) as demanded by the law.
 
Stephen Wakhweya argues that the conviction and the eventual two-year sentence handed to him should be nullified since the DPP did not consent to the charges prior to his arraignment in court.
 
In his complaint, he claims not to have realized this grave error at the very commencement of his trial.
 
“The act of the Director of Public Prosecutions in instituting criminal proceedings without consenting to the charge sheet and or the indictment in the high court criminal case No. 071 of 2010 was in contravention of the constitution which provides a right to fair hearing for all persons.” read Wakhweya’s plait in part.
 
He cites articles 28 (3, a) of the constitution as one of the clauses that were grossly violated in the trial. The article states that every person who is charged with a criminal offense shall be presumed to be innocent until proved guilty or until that person has pleaded guilty.
 
He also cites articles 120 (3, b) and 120 (4, a) of the constitution. The articles and clauses are in regard to the mandate of the office of the DPP in instituting criminal proceedings which he says was disregarded in his trial.
 
Wakhweya is demanding that his conviction and sentence be quashed and be immediately released.
 
According to the court documents seen by Uganda Radio Network, Wakhweya who is currently serving the two-year jail term at Luzira prison was on August 25 2010 charged and found guilty of omission of embezzlement. He was also found guilty of another charge of uttering false documents.
 
The two-year jail term was passed on November 12, 2010.  Court also ordered him to refund over Shs31.9 million to government.
 
He unsuccessfully appealed the two-year conviction before Court of Appeal which on March, 26 this year confirmed the earlier sentence by the Anti Corruption Court.
 
Through his lawyers of Ochieng, Harimwomugasho and Co advocates, the convict claims to have suffered the conviction and sentence which he says in a true meaning is “unconstitutional”  and amounts to infringement of his rights.
 
To that effect, he wants court to order the state to pay him general damages for the inconvenience and grave injury caused to his reputation and future career ambitions.
 
Court will set a hearing date once the Attorney General files in his defense as the respondent to the matter.