Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Court dismisses case against a radio journalist

Mpigi, 18th/May/2011; a court in Mpigi district has dismissed a case of publishing false news against Central Broadcasting Service (CBS) FM journalist Yoweri Musisi.
Musisi 37, a resident of Nabusanke, Nkozi Sub county Mpigi district was charged with publishing false news on 24th/March/2011 by Buwama Grade II magistrate court.
Charge came after Musisi had been arrested and detained at Buwama police station for more than 24 hours.
Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda (HRNJ-Uganda) with partners Media Legal Defence Initiative (MLDI) hired a lawyer from Mukiibi, Kawooya and Onyango and Company advocates to challenge the defective publishing false news charge
The Supreme Court Judge J.N. Mulenga in 2004 declared the law on publishing false news unconstitutional saying that it was exerting unacceptable chilling effect on the freedom of expression.
Appearing before the Buwama grade II magistrate Noah Muwonge today, Francis Onyango a lawyer representing Musisi argued that by the time of charging Musisi there was no offence called publishing false news in our law books which makes it non-existing.
He added that the constitutional provision which calls for any criminal offence to be defined and punishment prescribed in our law books was abused by the state.
It’s on that basis that magistrate Muwonge dismissed the case saying all subordinate courts of the highest court in the land the Supreme Court are supposed to be bound to its decisions.
“Am happy and a free man now otherwise I was afraid that I would be taken back to prison any time. I thank HRNJ-Uganda and MLDI for the legal support and a job well done” said jubilating Musisi
HRNJ-Uganda welcomes the court decision and believes that such decisions will widen the space under which journalists of Uganda operate.
For More Information Contact;
Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda (HRNJ-Uganda)
Kivebulaya Road – Mengo Kampala Opp. St. Marcelino Pre. School
P.O.BOX. 71314 Clock Tower Kampala
Tel: +256-414-272934 / +256-414-667627


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