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Gen Katumba daughter, driver shooting trial delayed over lack of interpreters

The High court has encountered a setback in the trial of the suspects accused of murdering the daughter and driver of Works and Transport minister General Edward Katumba Wamala.

The court session was unable to proceed with reading the charges against the suspects due to a lack of interpreters. The suspects are Yusuf Siraje Nyanzi, Hussein Sserubula, Muhammad Kagugube, Sirimani Kisambira, Abdullah Aziz Ramadhan, Dunka, Kamada Walusimbi, Habib Ramadhan Marjan, and Huzaifah Wampa.

During the court session before lady justice Alice Komuhangi Khaukha, the prosecution aimed to disclose additional exhibits in the case and share an inventory report of the exhibits they intend to rely on for the prosecution of the accused persons.

The prosecution led by Lillian Omar and Marion Ben Bella, presented an inventory report showing that exhibits numbered from 319 to 377, including physical and documentary evidence, had been shared with the defense lawyers, represented by Geoffrey Turyamusiima, in preparation for the trial.

However, when the judge attempted to read the charges, it was discovered that there were no interpreters for the languages understood by the accused persons, namely Lusoga and Nubian. The suspects indicated that they understood English, Lusoga, Luganda, and Nubian.

As a result, the judge decided to adjourn the case until June 5 with the hope that interpreters for Lusoga and Nubian would be available on that day. In January 2022, the accused persons were committed by the Nakawa Chief Magistrate's court to face trial on multiple charges, including terrorism, murder, attempted murder, aggravated robbery, financing terrorism activities, and belonging to a terrorist organization.

These charges stem from a shooting incident in which, Gen Katumba, his bodyguard Sgt Khalid Kuboit, and Boniface Mucunguzi survived, while the minister's daughter, Brenda Nantongo, and driver, Sgt Haruna Kayondo, tragically lost their lives. The prosecution alleges that the accused persons were involved in various crimes, including multiple murders and robberies committed at different locations.

Exhibits recovered during police searches include firearms, ammunition, motorcycles, hoods, ropes, and materials related to terrorism. The evidence suggests that the recovered firearms were previously used in other high-profile murder cases. In July 2021, the defense lawyers filed an application seeking the release of the suspects, claiming that they had been tortured.

However, their request for an urgent hearing during the Covid-19 lockdown was rejected by the High court civil division.

Comments

0 #1 kabayekka 2023-05-23 06:21
Such terrorism trials that seem to take 5 to 10 years of prosecution on the African continent are typical of the justice system built up by Uncle Sam's international political interests.

One wonders how long did Mandela's political and terrorism trial last before he was dumped for ever into prison for decades!
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