Uganda Law Society Sues Security Officers over High Court Siege

2359 Views Kampala, Uganda
The Uganda Law Society has filed a case against two Government security officers, over the High Court siege last month by heavily armed security men. Ivan Nkwasibwe, the former Divisional Police Commander at Kampala Central Police Station and Sam Edotu, an Assistant Superintendent of Police for Luzira Upper Prisons, have been summoned by Buganda Road Court to respond to the case. The two officers were part of the Security squad which repeatedly ignored pleas by both the Deputy Chief Justice and the Principal Judge to leave the court premises during a bail application hearing of 10 suspected members of the People's Redemption Army and rearrested the suspects outside the court gates. The security officers are alleged to have manhandled several judicial officers in the standoff. In their Case, the lawyers cite one particular incident in which one of the PRA' suspects defence lawyer, Kiyemba Mutale was assaulted by security officials. Mutale was carried to the chambers of the Chief Justice with blood gushing from a cut he sustained on his forehead. The Lawyers accuse Nkwasibwe of assault, causing actual bodily harm, obstruction of Justice and threatening violence. He is also accused of Common nuisance, being idle and disorderly and destroying evidence. The lead Prosecutor, Fred Muwema, says Nkwasibwe who was DPC in charge of CPS, destroyed a paper containing a statement recorded by the two lawyers, from the police dairy, with the intention of feigning evidence. Nkwasibwe has now been transferred to the Violent Crime Unit. Sam Edotu who was commanding the prisons section at the High Court, on the other hand faces charges of Obstruction of Justice, Common nuisance and being idle and disorderly. According to Muwema, if convicted the two face a custodial sentence of over 20 years. //Cue in: iThe offence of assault# Cue out: to push this also.i // The Prosecution team says the two officers rejected the criminal summons and instead referred the ULS to their bosses, But Muwema says the Uganda Law Society is determined to ensure the safety and freedom their lawyers, restore the independence of the judiciary and to deter further interference by security officers of the judicial functions of the Court. // Cue in: iThe summonses were issued yesterday# Cue out: #on the 18th of April.i // The five-man Prosecution team says they have already assembled evidence, which they will use against the two officers. The team intends to produce 15 witnesses to prove its case.