Draru Collapses In Court

2934 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Lydia Atim Draru, the woman accused of murdering former army commander, Major General James Kazini, has collapsed in court.

Lydia Atim Draru, the woman accused of murdering the former army commander, Major General James Kazini, has collapsed in court.
Draru collapsed in Court on Thursday shortly after the presiding judge, Justice  Monica Mugenyi, said she should stand trial for Kazini’s murder.

Draru on Monday admitted killing Kazini at her home, but confessed that he acted out of anger and in self defense. Her lawyer, Annet Mutabingwa has been pushing for her client to be charged with manslaughter and not murder.
But the judge said Draru will be asked to defend herself and she went ahead to read the three options for the accused to do so.

Justice Mugenyi said the accused is free to defend herself under sworn evidence, where she has to take oath and be led through her defense by her lawyer before being cross examined by the prosecution team. The accused is also free to opt for un-sworn evidence, where she is not cross-examined. The judge told Draru that she is also at liberty to remain silent.
After court translated the options for Draru in Luganda, her lawyer stood up to ask for an adjournment to enable her advise her client. At this point  Draru collapsed in the dock, sending the courtroom into commotion.

Police officers and prison warders were seen trying to help her recover.
She was carried back to the cells at High Court and the judge adjourned hearing to 2:30 pm to enable Draru recover.
Earlier in the day, prosecution produced their last witness, Thereza Irwao, who owns a clinic opposite Draru’s rented house in Project Zone, Wabigalo in Makindye division. It was in this house that Major General Kazini was found killed in the early hours on November 10th 2009.
Irwao told court that on that day she heard noise in Draru’s house at about 6am. She said she heard a woman’s voice shouting “why are you torturing me.” The witness further told court that she later had the accused calling for help. Upon entering the gate, she saw Draru hitting a body that was lying down. Draru reportedly shouted “die” three times as she hit the body.
Irwao further said she saw Draru putting down the object and when she asked the accused what had happened, she replied, “I have killed him” in reference to Kazini.
Upon cross examination, Irwao however said she did not see the part of Kazini’s body that Draru kept hitting several times. She also could not describe the object that the accused used to commit the crime.
This contradicted her police statement in which she said she saw Draru use a metallic object to hit the fallen General.