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Lawyer Protests Lack of Coordination Between Judiciary, Prisons on Appeal Cases :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Lawyer Protests Lack of Coordination Between Judiciary, Prisons on Appeal Cases

However, when Egonda Ntende asked why Lutaaya whose case was one of the six fixed for hearing was no show, the prison warders revealed that he is locked up in Moroto Prison which doesn't have video conferencing technology.
Lawyer Richard Kumbuga appearing before the Court of Appeal.

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City lawyer Richard Kumbuga has protested the purported lack of coordination between the Judiciary and prisons authorities. It followed the failure of his jailed client Godfrey Lutaaya Lutalo to appear before the Court of Appeal via video conferencing for hearing of a suit, in which he is challenging his 35-year jail term for aggravated robbery.

  Lutaaya was expected to appear before a panel of the Court of Appeals Justices led by Fredrick Egonda Ntende, Christopher Izama Madrama and Lady Justice Catherine Bamugemereire on Monday bench via video conferencing.    

However, when Egonda Ntende asked why Lutaaya whose case was one of the six fixed for hearing was no show, the prison warders revealed that he is locked up in Moroto Prison which doesn't have video conferencing technology. As a result, Justice Egonda ordered Uganda Prisons to either take Lutaaya to a facility that has video conferencing facilities or present him physically before the court today.

The prison’s failure to present his client didn’t go down with his lawyer, Kumbuga saying that there was no coordination between the Judiciary and prisons. He explained that when the court fixed the case for hearing, the judiciary should have issued notices to the prisons to prepare his client.

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Lutaaya was jailed in 2012 by the then High Court Judge, Faith Mwondha for 35 years for robbing Sharifah Mutesi Kinene Nalongo of her property and cash with threats of shooting her to death using a pistol and an axe.  The incident occurred on October 14th 2010 at Butale Bukwenda in Nsangi Sub County in Wakiso district. Lutaaya has since appealed the judgment.    

Lutaaya’s case isn’t the only matter that failed to proceed on Monday. Kumbuga also appeared for three other convicts namely Joshua Sasazi, Amos Wajja and Vincent Senyonjo who were convicted in 2012 by High Court Judge Rugadya Atwooki sitting in Luwero district.

They were convicted together with Diaz Matovu and sentenced to between 18 years and 25 years for rape.  Court records show that the group raided the home of Godfrey Senkula and Juliet Nakakembo where they tied up their victims and raped one of them before robbing various items.

The incident occurred in Mulungiomu Village in Nakasongora District on June 3rd 2010. When the appeal came up, Kumbuga noted that he had filed written submissions for the convicts with the exception of Diaz Matovu who couldn’t be traced in the prison system.  

The Judiciary Spokesperson, Jameson Karemani told URN shortly after the court session that they will be discussing with the Court of Appeal Registrar and see how best they can work with the prisons to ensuring that hearing notices are signed and sent in time for them to plan accordingly.

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The Court of Appeal session, which started on Monday, is meant to handle 30 cases within two weeks.

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