October 20, 2021

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State drops treason case against Besigye

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Government has withdrawn the treason case against former four-time presidential candidate, Col (Rtd) Dr Kizza Besigye.

The opposition figure has been on trial for allegedly swearing-in himself as the president following the disputed 2016 polls.

The withdrawal of the case was done in December 2019 during Justice Mike Chibita’s reign as the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

“This is to inform court that the Director of Public Prosecutions has decided to discontinue proceedings against Rtd Col Kizza Besigye Kifefe charged with treason,” the withdrawal form signed off by then DPP Chibita reads in part.

Daily Monitor reported that the form was filed before Nakawa Court’s registry, and it was not followed with the formal withdrawal process that involves court convening with the accused person/s present.

His lawyer Ernest Kalibaala told the newspaper that the case withdrawal could have been done secretly.

“If it was withdrawn, I have never seen the documentation, may be it was done secretly. I heard about it the other day,” Kalibaala said.

“Usually, when you have a nolle prosequi (the withdrawal form), the accused (Dr Besigye) is made aware of it, you may find that doctor [Besigye] is not aware,” he added.

The treason charges arose after a video clip of the alleged swearing-in went viral on social media on May 11, 2016, on the eve of President Museveni’s swearing-in for the fifth elective term in office.

Dr Besigye was first charged with treason in Moroto District before he was transferred to Nakawa Court in Kampala and charged afresh.

Dr Besigye had refused to return to the court, citing delay in concluding investigations and having him committed to the High Court to stand trial.

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