Justice Kavuma Halts Kayihura Brutality Case
By Serestino Tusingwire
Uganda’s Deputy Chief Justice Steven Kavuma on Friday issued an interim order halting the prosecution of the country’s Inspector General of Police (IGP) General Kale Kayihura over torture charges, which is before Makindye Magistrates court.
Justice Kavuma issued the order on Friday afternoon after he presided over an interim application filed by a Kampala advocate, Robert Rutaro, which sought to block the criminal trial of Kayihura and 7 other ‘errant’ police officers.
Rutaro had petitioned the constitutional court early this month challenging the constitutionality of the criminal proceedings brought by private prosecutors against IGP and his junior officers; saying the said charges arise from acts done in execution of the men’s official duties.
Denis Biregye, the Director of Civil Litigation from the Attorney General’s chambers was present in court and agreed with Rutaro’s application. Biregye says he has no problem with Kayihura not appearing before Makindye court as long as Rutaro’s main petition, which challenges the legality of the torture charges, is fixed for hearing by next week.
Rutalo, successfully applied before Justice Simon Byabakama to have this application urgently heard in court vacation as there is a threat that the IGP is already served with summons to appear and plead to these charges on Monday next week.
Rutaro adds that the charge sheet before the Makindye Court is defective since it does not disclose the actual torture acts to warrant Kayihura and his officers to defend themselves. The petitioner claims this violates the accused’s right to a fair hearing as provided for in the Constitution.
Justice Kavuma said he based his ruling on the consent of both parties and ordered that the said interim application stays in place until the main petition is heard and determined by the court but he will give the full reasons for his decision on notice.
Kayihura and seven others were to appear in court on Monday 29th, August, 2016 to answer charges of brutalizing Besigye’s supporters last month.