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Red Pepper Directors, Editors Denied Bail

The eight are charged with publication of a news story which is prejudicial to national security and publication of a story that defamed President Museveni, his brother Gen Salim Saleh and Security Minister Lt Gen Henry Tumukunde.
Buganda Road Court has denied bail to eight Red Pepper editors and directors accused of a publication prejudicial to national security purportedly to allow government undertake thorough investigations on the matter.

The eight are charged with publication of a news story which is prejudicial to national security and publication of a story that defamed President Museveni, his brother Gen Salim Saleh and Security Minister Lt Gen Henry Tumukunde.

They were also charged with the use of the electronic system to publish information that portrayed Museveni, Salim Saleh and Tumukunde as if they are planning to overthrow President of Rwanda Paul Kagame. Prosecutors argue that the report subjected the trio to ridicule, contempt and hatred.

The charges refer to a story published by Red Pepper last week, Monday indicating that President Yoweri Museveni was planning to overthrow Paul Kagame of Rwanda.

Those charged today are Arinaitwe Rugyendo, Patrick Mugumya, Johnson Musinguzi, Richard Tusiime James Mujuni, Ben Byarabaha, Richard Kintu and Tumusiime Francis. They all denied the charged.

The eight were arrested on Tuesday after a siege at the Red Pepper offices in Nalufenya, Jinja. Today they appeared before the court and applied for bail through their Maxim Mutabingwa. He told the court that the charges read against his clients are bailable by the court and that since the investigations are not complete, the trial may not kick off soon.

He also told the court that all the accused are directors or editors who stay in Kampala and are law-abiding citizens. Each of the accused presented two sureties.

However, their application for bail was thwarted by state Prosecutor Abdu Salaam Waiswa who asked for more time to scrutinize the documents presented by their sureties. He asked the court to remand them investigations continue.

Buganda Court Grade 1 Magistrate James Ereemye adjourned the matter to December 5, to allow the prosecution to respond to the bail application presented to the court by the lawyers of the accused.

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