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Rwakafuuzi Criticises Gov't On Unreasonable Charges

He was speaking to URN on the decision by the Directorate of Public Prosecution-DPP to drop charges against five former suspects of the 2010 Kampala Twin Bombings. They are Dr. Ismael Kalule, the former Imam of Ntinda Mosque, Abubakar Batemyeto, Awadhi Omar Awadhi, Yahaya Mbuthia Suleiman and Muhammad Hamid Suleiman.

Audio 4

Human Rights Lawyer, Ladislus Rwakafuuzi has criticised government for abusing the law by filing unreasonable charges against citizens and withdraw them later after keeping suspects on remand for years. 

He was speaking to URN on the decision by the Directorate of Public Prosecution-DPP to drop charges against five former suspects of the 2010 Kampala Twin Bombings. They are Dr. Ismael Kalule, the former Imam of Ntinda Mosque, Abubakar Batemyeto, Awadhi Omar Awadhi, Yahaya Mbuthia Suleiman and Muhammad Hamid Suleiman.

The five were charged with terrorism and conspiracy to commit terror after they were rearrested in 2016 following their acquittal by the International Crimes Divisions of High Court for their alleged involvement in the 2010 Kampala twin bombings.

They were part of the suspects picked up in connection to the 2010 Kampala twin bombings at Kyadondo Rugby grounds and Ethiopia village restaurant in Kabalagala during the world cup finals, which claimed 70 people and injured scores of others. The suspects spent more than 7 years in Luzira prisons before they were acquitted.

Human Rights Lawyer, Ladislus Rwakafuuzi says the decision to hold people on remand for longer periods is tantamount to abuse of law and judicial system.

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Under law, the police can arrest a person reasonably suspected to have committed or believed to be planning to commit a crime. However, police is expected to process the suspect within the mandatory 48 hours and present them before court for trial.

However, Rwakafuuzi says in most cases the claims made by the state do not amount to reasonable suspicion. Asked what remedies are available for people treated unfairly by the state, Rwakafuuzi said the freed suspects can seek damages in civil court.

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Evans Ochieng, who represented the freed suspects, says it is unfortunate that people are re-arrested after being discharged by court. He said while the DPP is mandated to charge suspects, he is also mandated to sieve charges such that people's rights are not violated.

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He urges the DPP to scrutinize the files submitted to his office for sanctioning to avoid keeping suspects on remand for a long time over dubious charges.

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