The former aides of renegade General David Ssejusa battling treason charges are scheduled to return to the General court martial on Thursday this week. They are James Nyebare, Moses Nuwagaba, Private Ninsima Frank and Abel Twinamasiko.
The suspects were picked up in May last year in a joint operation by the army, intelligence services and Police’s flying squad after General Sejusa fled the country citing a plot to bump off senior army officers and politicians opposed to plans by president Yoweri Museveni to groom his son Brigadier Muhoozi Kainerugaba to replace him.
They were part of a wider group of 24 people picked up on suspicion of treasons. However, the other suspects were released. The four were arraigned before the UPDF general court martial on treason charges.
They are accused of approaching RA 194684 L/CPL Grace Nasasira and (R/A 182084 L/CPL) Geoffrey Karuhanga to help them recruit soldiers for the purpose of overthrowing the government.
However, General Ssejusa quietly returned to the country mid December last year but no charges have been brought against him.
Human rights advocate Ladislaus Rwakafuzi, said that his clients are scheduled to return to court on Thursday.
According to Rwakafuzi, he can’t accuse the state of selective prosecution because by the time the suspects were arrested and arraigned before court, Sejusa wasn’t in the country.
He however, says should the trial continue despite the return of Ssejusa, then a claim of selective prosecution will be justified.
Colonel Paddy Ankunda, the UPDF spokesperson declined to comment on the matter until he receives guidance from the commander in chief.
He says that Sejusa is being handled at a higher level than the four. He also adds that it will be the prerogative of the state to either continue with the case or withdraw the charges against the accused.
Shortly after his return from exile, Sejusa vowed to ensure his former aides are released and the charges against them dropped.
He said that their continued detention was unconstitutional considering that the state has no evidence that he was launching a guerrilla war.
He also admitted that it was true that while he was on self imposed exile, he had ‘built capacity’ for the state to allow him back on his terms.