Friday, July 22, 2011

Trial date for a journalist who is on treason charges is set

Kampala; 20th/July/2011; Hearing of treason case against the New Vision journalist Otim Patrick is set to kick off on Monday the 25th/July/2011 before the High Court in Kampala.
The order to produce Otim for trial was made on 6th/May/2011 by the Deputy Registrar of the High Court in Charge of Criminal Division Elizabeth Kabanda to Luzira National remand prison authorities where Otim has been for a period of two years.
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 Leo Kyanda through a Habeas Corpus for unlawfully detention that’s when he appeared. Security forces defied a court order which had been issued earlier instructing them to produce Otim to High court but instead he and the other 9 suspects were taken to a subordinate magistrate court and charged with two counts of treason and concealment to treason.
Otim who is on remand in Luzira upper prison alleged that he was moved from one illegal detention to another in different parts of the country before he was brought to court. “I was tortured by the army using numerous forms including tying heavy objects on my private parts. I sustained body injuries”, said Otim.
Two attempts to secure a bail for Otim have been made by HRNJ-Uganda lawyer Ladislaus Rwakafuuzi since he was committed to high court for trail early 2010 but all efforts were fruitless. We welcome the development because many inmates on committal are languishing in most prisons in Uganda. It’s our desire hope that Otim will get justice at last said HRNJ-Uganda Board Chairperson Robert Ssempala. He said, HRNJ-Uganda will attend all trial sessions until the judgment day to ensure that justice prevails because it was not in the interest of the Ugandan government to take Otim and others to courts of law. HRNJ-Uganda calls upon the Judiciary to expedite the trail process because suspects have over stayed on remand. Otim will appear before Justice Monica Mugenyi.
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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