HRNJ-Uganda Update: Journalist trial postponed
Kampala, 26th/July/2010;A journalist Patrick Otim facing treason charges will not be tried in the new High Court session that began on 25th/July/2011. Justice Monica Mugenyi said the group would have to wait for a special session because they are many. They have now been sent back on remand in Luzira prison until a special session is set up. Otim was kidnapped from his residence in 2009 from Pader district by plain cloth security operatives and detained in incommunicado for six weeks on unknown reasons. It was until Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda (HRNJ-Uganda) sued the Chief of Defense Forces Aronda Nyakairima and the then Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) boss through a Habeas Corpus for unlawfully detention that’s when he was taken before a lower court and charged with two accounts of treason and concealment to treason. Otim was joined by other ten (10) suspects arrested from different parts of the country on accusation of forming a rebel group. The state accused them of forming a rebel group, the Popular Patriotic Front (PPF), and said they were recruiting people to fight the Government. They allegedly mobilized logistical support for their rebellion, which included satellite phones, solar panels, Global Positioning System (GPS) machines, walkie-talkies, laptops and fire-arms. We are going to challenge the postponement because these guys have suffered a lot. I will be writing to the principle judge to see to it that the accused are tried soon, having spent long on remand. Said the defense lawyer Ladislaus Rwakafuuzi. According to the indictment, the suspects committed the offence between 2006 and 2009 in eight districts, including Masindi and Kampala. Its however not clear when a special session will be set up.
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