Gunfire rocks High Court after judge orders immediate release of jailed Stella Nyanzi

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Live bullets have been fired on Thursday, February 20 at the International Crimes Division of the Highcourt in Kololo as Dr. Stellah Nyanzi supporters tried to prevent prison authorities from taking her back to Luzira prison for official release and clearance.

This was immediately after Justice Henry Peter Adonyo ordered her release from prison after he declared her trial at Buganda Road court a nullity

Highcourt set aside Nyanzi’s conviction on charges of cyber harassment against the person of President Museveni and that of his late mother Esteri Kokundeka.

In his ruling, Justice Adonyo declared Nyanzi’s entire trial before Buganda Road Court grade one magistrate Gladys Kamasanyu as illegal for mainly violating her right to a fair hearing, speedy and an independent criminal trial when she denied her a right and ample time to identify, prepare and cause the compulsory attendance of her defense witnesses.

Nyanzi was in August last year jailed for 18 months but her sentence was reduced to 9months in prison after deducting the time she had spent on remand and reliable sources from Luzira women’s prison indicate that Nyanzi had served her full term and was due to be released on Saturday this week.

While allowing Nyanzi’s appeal, justice Henry Peter Adonyo faulted the lower court for proceeding to handle a case in which it lacked authority to scientifically prove the exact location and gadget used by the suspect to post the contentious post on Facebook which offended president Museveni.

The judge also explained that the prosecution’s star witness in this case Bill Ndyamuhaki, a cybercrime investigator attached to CID triggered all his efforts to prove that the post was made by Nyanzi instead of finding out crucial elements such as the gadget used and whether it was located in Uganda or not.

According to justice Adonyo, failure to prove this left the trial court in guesswork and, therefore, it was not fair for it to go ahead and convict Nyanzi.

The same court, however, thrown out DPP’s appeal in which he had challenged Nyanzi’s acquittal on the offense of offensive communication.  The judge ruled that having found disturbing facts of derogating Nyanzi’s rights to a fair trial on the lower court’s record, he cannot waste his time on this matter.

Nyanzi had been accused of posting an obscene message on her official Facebook page while attacking the privacy of President Museveni.

SOURCE: pm daily