Army, judiciary, lawyers speak on Kaweesi murder suspects re-arrest

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The suspects being re-arrested

Armed security operatives on Wednesday re-arrested four suspects in the murder of former Police Spokesperson, Andrew Felix Kaweesi just after they had been released on bail.

Yusuf Nyanzi, Jibril Kalyango, Joshua Kyambadde and Yusuf Mugerwa were picked up together with their lawyer, Mr James Mubiru.

They had just been discharged by the Registrar of the International Crimes Division of High Court Ms Esther Nasambu, following their bail release by Justice Lydia Mugambe.

UPDF spokesperson, Brigadier Richard Karemire, told Uganda Radio Network that the suspects were picked up by joint security forces and are locked up at a gazetted facility on allegations that they are peace violators.

“Our people deserve peace and security forces will do whatever they can within the laws established to ensure that,” Karemire told URN.

Both uniformed and plain-clothed security officers closed the main gate of the court premises to block the suspects from leaving.

The operatives opened the gate when a vehicle attached to the Office of the Director of Prosecution, approached the gate.

As the car exited, the suspects who were riding in two vehicles; belonging to Mubiru and another belonging to Mr Godfrey Turyamusiima, a lawyer, tried to exit the court premises but were rounded up into a waiting vehicle and driven to an unknown destination.

Uganda Judiciary spokesperson Solomon said the courts handle matters up to a certain extent.

“The suspects came back yesterday because they needed clarification on some issues but they had already been granted bail,” Muyita told NBS TV on Thursday morning.

Law society speaks

Uganda  Law  Society  (ULS)  said it was  deeply  concerned about the  event  that  occurred  at the Anti-Corruption Court in Kololo.

Several media houses released a video of the forceful re-arrest of the four suspects in the murder of the former police spokesperson Andrew Felix Kaweesi and their  advocate  James  Mubiru  right at the  premises  of  the  Court. 

“They were whisked away in a Noah vehicle registration number UAY 077T by uniformed and plain-clothed security officers who closed the main gate of the Court premises to block the suspects from leaving.”

“The ULS finds it unacceptable that the re-arrest was carried out without following due process and in violation of the rights of the accused persons by unidentified persons and for unknown reasons.”

The statement said it is also unacceptable that the re-arrest was conducted in cruel, inhuman and/or degrading manner within the Court premises.

“It is also illegal for an advocate to be arrested while performing his/her lawful duty. We  strongly  demand  that  our  member  be  released  unconditionally  and  that  the  perpetrators  if  this gruesome act be immediately apprehended.”

It added: “We ask the public to furnish us with names of those involved in this brutal act so that we may bring them to book. We condemn this illegal action of the security forces which has undermined the independence of the Judiciary,  the  legal  profession  and  the  rule  of  law  in  Uganda.” 

Law society also condemned  the  assault  and intimidation  of  civilians  with  guns. 

“Therefore  the  ULS  is  going  to  deploy  its  legal  team  to  legally support  the  re-arrested  individuals  and  identify  the  criminals in  this  matter  responsible  for  the  re-arrest and privately prosecute them,” said Simon Peter M. Kinobe, President –Uganda Law Society.

Kaweesi was shot dead on March, 17, 2017 together with his bodyguard Kenneth Erau and driver, Godfrey Mambewa.

Days later, the suspects were later picked from various districts in the country and charged with murder, aggravated robbery and terrorism.

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