Judge Suspends Trial Over Arrest of Journalist

The judge was protesting against the arrest of journalist covering the trial of the July 2010 Kampala bomb suspects.
24 Sep 2015 11:00
Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo
Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo on Wednesday suspended the trial of the Kampala bombing terror suspects over the arrest of a journalist covering the proceedings.


The judge also threatened to quit the trial if the security operatives continued to hold the journalist attached to The Observer newspaper.

Derrick Kiyonga, a journalist with The Observer newspaper was arrested by plain clothes security operatives within the precincts of the High Court shortly after the judge had adjourned for lunch break. The journalist was later driven away in a police patrol van towards Kololo, a Kampala suburb.


The journalist was arrested for passing notes from some of the terror suspects to their defense lawyers led by Caleb Alaka, during the court sessions.


The action of the security forced journalists covering the trial to storm the judge\'s chambers protesting against the arrest of their colleague.


The judge said the journalist had not broken any law by helping to pass the notes from the suspects to their lawyers.


He said the security operatives should have waited to have the journalist arrested outside the court precincts if they had any criminal case against him.


The journalist was later released from custody without any charge after intervention by police attached to the High Court in Kampala.  


Lately, security has been heightened at the High Court due to the presence of American FBI witnesses who are testifying in the case.



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