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Jamil Mukulu Trial to be Conducted Inside Luzira Prison

A meeting on Monday that included International Crimes Division -ICD Judges, Counter Terrorism Police Officers, Prisons, Directorate of Public Prosecutions and Defense lawyers agreed that for the safety of the participants from Covid-19 and other possible security risks, the trial will be conducted inside the prisons.
31 Aug 2020 18:02
Jamil Mukulu Arriving at the High Court Criminal Division in Kampala

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The High Court of Uganda will be sitting inside Luzira Maximum Security Prison to try 38 terrorism suspects who include the suspected Allied Democratic Forces Commander, Jamil Mukulu who was extradited from Tanzania in 2015.

A meeting on Monday that included International Crimes Division -ICD Judges, Counter Terrorism Police Officers, Prisons, Directorate of Public Prosecutions and Defense lawyers agreed that for the safety of the participants from Covid-19 and other possible security risks, the trial will be conducted inside the prisons.

The four-hour closed-door meeting that took place at the ICD headquarters on Kololo hill was attended by the head of the High Court International Crimes Division Justice David Wangutusi, one of the trial judges Justice Lydia Mugambe, the ICD Registrar Beatrice Atingu, Commissioner of Police Amos Olweny who is attached to Counter Terrorism Department and Officer In-charge of Luzira Upper Prison Moses Sentalo.

Also in attendance was Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions Lino Anguzu, State Attorney Lillian Omar and Defense Lawyers represented by Anthony Wameli and Geoffrey Turyamusiima.  

But one of the defence lawyers Anthony Wameli told the media that they had convinced the meeting need to be consulting their clients during the trial as it cannot be fair to do so via video conferencing.

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It was also agreed that the security of all the participants in this case, is at stake and as such, the parties found that Luzira prison is secure for everyone including the 150 prosecution witnesses who will be coming from across East Africa.

The parties have also agreed that due to fear of exposure to Covid-19, it's easier for people coming outside to be managed other than managing prisoners when they go out.    

The trial is expected to start on notice in November 2020 before a panel of three Justices including Lydia Mugambe, Susan Okalany and Michael Elubu.

Mukulu who was arrested in Tanzania and extradited to Uganda in 2015 on charges of terrorism, murder, aggravated robbery, attempted murder and being a member of a terrorist group is jointly charged with 37 others.  

The other accused persons are Abdallah Sharif Ali Salim alias Mukyotala, Musa Nabangi, Adam Diin Bashiri alias Wabula, Sheikh Ahamed Rashid Wasiga, Cpl. Alex Martin Engwau, Sgt. John Owori, Sheikh Ibrahim Badru Wanjala, Amis Adam, Abdul Malik Kabaale, Muzahamu Ndifuna and Ibrahim Kyessa.

Others are Yakubu Kyessa, Muhammad Muruya, Abdallah Waniala, Abduswabul Kimbugwe, Muhammad Mbuya, Muhammad Kiryagana, Abdurahamani Muyaga, Muhammad Matovu, Omar Abdallah Mutuka, Amis Sowedi, Zaidi Kambo, Musa Kaala, Mansuudi Kisambira, Isa Kayira, Hassan Wasswa, Abdallah Kirwani, Daniel Wanyama, Abdul Ddungu, Robert Wandera, and Umayiya Kikomeko.

The group is accused of murdering Muslim clerics Sheikh Yunus Abubaker Mandanga and Dakitoor Muwaya, the top Shia Cleric whose assailants also reportedly attacked Bugiri police station and killed two police officers Karim Tenywa and Muzamir Babale.  

According to the charges, between 2011 and 2014, the accused persons under the command of Mukulu acquired firearms and training in neighbouring countries and funding for economic, social, political and religious reasons.

Mukulu and his co-accused were arrested from various places in Uganda and Tanzania between 2014 and 2015 on charges dating back to 1998 when suspected ADF rebels attacked Kichwamba Technical Institute and more than 80 students to death. 

In September 2019, Justice Eva Luswata of the International Crimes Division of the High Court committed them to face trial before the panel of three Judges and the trial is yet to kick off on notice.