February 5, 2013

Kalungi’s Co-accused Fail To Meet Bail Conditions, Returned to Luzira

Adam Kalungii faces charges of manslaughter in connection to the death of Cerinah Nebanda
Adam Kalungii faces charges of manslaughter in connection to the death of Cerinah Nebanda

Despite being granted bail ON Tuesday, five out of the six suspects accused of causing the death of Butaleja District Woman MP, Cerinah Nebanda, were returned to Luzira prison after they failed to fulfil all the bail conditions.

The five; Mr Abid Rashid Butt, Mr Noor  Abubakar, Mr Khan Babu Abdul, Mr Ali Omar Almuzahim and Ms Fatuma Babu, had earlier in the day been granted a cash bail of Shs10 million by Makindye Chief Magistrate Esther Nambayo.

However, the suspects did not fulfil all the bail conditions earlier set in order to regain their freedom ever since their remand on December 30 last year.

Other bail conditions included; depositing of their passports in court and also each of their sureties depositing in court a land title registered in their names.

The major setback that led to return to Luzira was the failure by their sureties to deposit in court land titles that are registered in their names.

The five will only get their freedom if they fulfil all the bail conditions.

Key suspect, Mr Adam Suleiman Kalungi, was not granted bail since he had not applied to be released like his co-accused.

It was not clear why Mr Kalungi declined to apply to be released on bail and he was returned to Luzira prison where he has been since January 7, when he was formally charged.

The suspects now face the charge of manslaughter and two counts of being in possession of narcotic drugs contrary to the National Drug Policy and Authority Act.

Manslaughter is causing the death of another person unintentionally and once convicted, the charge carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

According to the charge sheet, prosecution alleges that Mr Kalungi along with his five co-accused, on December, 14, last year in Buziga, Makindye Division in Kampala, unlawfully caused the death of MP Nebanda.

They also face two counts of being in possession of narcotic drugs contrary to the National Drug Policy and Authority Act.

They deny the charges.

On January 15, the same court struck out the charge of supplying and dispensing restricted drugs from the charge sheet contrary to sections 13 (1), and 60 (2) of the National Drug Policy and Authority Act for being defective.

While granting the suspects bail, the magistrate disagreed with the state prosecutor Samali Wakoli, who had asked court to deny them bail on grounds that they would jump trial.

Ms Wakoli had unsuccessfully relied on the affidavit of police detective John Musana, who is the investigating officer in this case.

In his affidavit, Mr Musana had claimed that it was very hard to trace and arrest the suspects and that they had to truck them using their phones.

The detective in his affidavit also stated that one of the suspects, Mr Abid Rashid Butt, travels a lot to Pakistan and that once released on bail, he might not return to face trial.

In her ruling, the magistrate held that the state had not substantiated their fears and that they just remain mere speculations which are sound grounds to deny them bail.

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