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Court Closes Case Against Army

Kiiza told court that Lyakaremye was secretly arraigned before the UPDF General court martial with illegal gun possession after the army learnt about the High Court order.

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Justice Lydia Mugambe has closed a case in, which the family of a Rwandese national has been pushing for his unconditional release by the military. Claude Lyakaremye's family petitioned High court through his lawyer, Eron Kiiza to compel the army to release him unconditionally.

 

The 35-year-old Lyakaremye was reportedly picked up by officers from Uganda People's Defense Forces (UPDF) and the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence from Kisenyi Bus Park in Kampala on March 25th, 2018 for illegal possession of a firearm.

 

 

His family tried to trace for his whereabouts in vain prompting them to sue the army to produce him in court dead or alive. On April 18, Justice Lydia Mugambe issued an order requiring the Director of CMI, the Chief of Defense Forces and the Attorney General to produce Lyakaremye on Thursday April 26, 2018 in court and show cause why he shouldn't be released.  

 

 

However, on Thursday afternoon, Lyakaremye's lawyer Eron Kiiza told Court he has established the whereabouts of his client and is ready to proceed with the charges leveled against him. Kiiza told court that Lyakaremye was secretly arraigned before the UPDF General court martial with illegal gun possession after  the army learnt about the High Court order.

 

 

He asked court to close the case saying, they are ready to proceed with the trial in the military court.  According to Kiiza, Lyakaremye will be returning to the General Court martial on May, 4th for his bail application.

 

//Cue in: "And since the ….

Cue out: … a robust defense".//

 

The state Attorney, Ojambo Bichachi didn't appear in court and only sent apologies on phone. In her ruling, Justice Mugambe, said there was no need to proceed with matter since Lyakaremye's family knows his whereabouts and the reason for his arrest and therefore closed the matter.

   

Lyakaremye's wife, Beatrice Nyirahabimana told URN outside the courtroom that her husband was asked many questions about Rwanda and the officials in the Rwandan Embassy in Kampala.  She said it is very frustrating that a civilian is being tried in the court-martial after being subjected to torture.

Recently, the UPDF Spokesperson Brigadier Richard Karemire, confirmed to URN that Lyakaremye was being tried before the before the General Court-martial, adding that his complaints of torture will be forwarded to the UPDF Human Rights Desk for investigations.

 

Six other Rwanda nationals were arrested at the Uganda-Rwanda Border on allegations of spying for Rwanda's President, Paul Kagame.   Five of them have since been released. 

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