Court Orders MTN, Airtel to Produce Aine's Phone Records Top story

4960 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Christopher Aines lawyer believes that the telephone print outs, will strengthen a case seeking an order to compel the Uganda Police to produce him.

High Court Judge Lydia Mugambe Ssali has ordered telecom companies MTN and Airtel-Uganda to produce phone records of Christopher Aine, the head of presidential candidate Amama Mbabazi's security team, for the period before he mysteriously went missing.

Aine's lawyers led by John Mary Mugisha explained that the print outs, specifically indicating communication between Aine and  his cousin Ezra Kabugo, will strengthen a case seeking an order to compel the Uganda Police to produce Aine.

Kabugo was one of the last people Aine reportedly talked to before his disappearance. His family believes that he is in Police custody.

Justice Mugambe directed MTN and Airtel Uganda to provide call data between December 14 and December 17, 2015. She however faulted Aine's lawyers for not writing directly to the two telecom companies earlier.

 "This is not a criminal case to compel those concerned to avail the phone printouts under the Computer Misuse Act. Counsel for the applicant should have written to MTN and Airtel for the same," Justice Mugambe said.

In the same ruling, Justice Mugambe allowed the Attorney General to file in his response by February 1, 2016 so that he can be part of the application. The application had been filed to be heard by Aine's side only excluding the Police side.

To that effect, court fixed February 16, 2016, to hear out the application intended to compel Police to produce Aine.

The application to have Aine produced in court ‘dead or alive' is supported by a case filed by his cousin Ezra Kabugo on January 5, 2016.

In his affidavit, Kabugo claims that since Aine's arrest by plain clothed Police men on December 14, 2015, he has never been arraigned formally before courts of law and charged as the law demands. He adds that no valid reason has been given for his arrest yet efforts to trace him in all Police detention centers have proved futile.

Kabugo believes that Police are detaining his cousin in ungazzeted places; a flagrant violation of his cousin's constitutional right to personal liberty and freedoms of movement guaranteed by the law.

Records at court indicate that on December 14, 2015, Kabugo was woken up by a security guards at his residence in Kampala informing him that a group of Police officers were looking for a Munyankore terrorist (Aine) who was staying at his apartment.

Kabugo adds that the same Police officers who identified themselves as coming from CPS Kampala, later that day came to his apartment and demanded for Aine, since he sometimes spent nights at his place.
Court records further show that Kabugo then called Aine informing him about his impending arrest. He however learnt through the same phone call that another group of Police officers had already surrounded Aine's home. That was the last time he heard from him.

Aine's family had earlier issued an ultimatum to government to produce him otherwise, they would be compelled to contract private investigators to unearth the whereabouts of their son.

But the Police have since insisted that they don't have Aine in custody and that they also want him to answer assault charges before Ntungamo court where he is alleged to have been involved in the fight between NRM and Go forward supporters in December.

Police has placed a Shilling 20 million bounty for anyone with useful information leading to Aine's arrest.