Friday, July 20, 2018

Resilient corruption

Global Military Justice Reform contributor Wing Commander (Ret) UC Jha writes here for Daily News & Analysis on resilient corruption in the Indian Army. Excerpt:
Not known to many even in the military, the Regulations for the Army contain an important provision on reporting corruption. Paragraph 317 of the Regulations provides, “It is the obligatory duty of every person in military employ to bring at once to the notice of his immediate superior, or the next superior where the immediate superior officer is involved, any case of dishonesty, fraud or infringement of orders that may come to his knowledge.” However, despite this obligation, very few corrupt and illegal practices are reported because Section 52(a) of the Army Act acts as a deterrent. It states that any military person who makes a false accusation against anyone subject to the Act, shall be court-martialed and awarded a punishment of up to five years’ imprisonment. Even if the military takes up investigation of an allegation of corruption, the court is assembled by the commanding officer and his trusted subordinates. Careerism and personal gain usually prompt inquiry officers to give reports that suit the commander. In the end, it is the person who reports a case of corruption who faces the wrath of the military hierarchy.

Detention without charges in Uganda

A Ugandan general is being held without charges. The government's spokesman claims he was unaware of a public interest case filed on the general's behalf in the High Court. Details here.
[Attorney] Deusdedit Bwengye has filed a public interest application in the high court of Uganda seeking court summons for the Chief of Defense Forces (CDF), the Commanding Officer in charge Makindye Military Barracks, Attorney General and Director of Public Prosecution to show cause as to why [Gen. Kale] Kayihura should not be produced to court or released on bond.

Gen Kale Kayihura was arrested on June 13, and has since been detained at Makindye Military Barracks for over a month now. The army confirmed the former IGP [Inspector General of Police] was airlifted from his farm home in Kashagama, Lyantonde district to Defence General Headquarters Mbuya and eventually detained at Makindye. It was also confirmed that the former Police boss was being held for questioning over a matter which could not be readily divulged. Gen Kayihura's cause of arrest has remained a mystery to date.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Why is this case being tried in a military court?

Russia's Moscow Garrison Military Court is trying a retired Ministry of Internal Affairs general officer for extortion. Why not a civilian court? Details here, from CrimeRussia. Excerpt:
Police Major-General Viktor Trutnev left law enforcement agencies seven years ago. He was appointed Head of the Moscow Criminal Intelligence in 2001. Two years later, he was appointed Head of the Department of Internal Affairs of the North-Eastern Administrative District of Moscow. After being transferred to the Department of Internal Affairs of the Northern Administrative District in 2011, Trutnev had to retire after several months. The reason for it was a scandalous incident when Head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Rashid Nurgaliev, visited the Academy of the Interior Ministry located on the territory of the Northern Administrative District of Moscow. When approaching the Academy, the honored guest saw a rude inscription on the ground that said ‘Nurgaliev is a ***hole.’ After that, Trutnev was hospitalized with a heart attack, and a few months later, Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree on his resignation.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Military justice in Uganda

The Observer reports here on military justice as applied to senior officers in the Uganda People's Defense Force. Excerpt:
Dr David Mushabe, a senior litigator of civil and military law who was retained by [Gen. David] Sejusa, told The Observer that the nature of the army court means it can operate at the whims of the commander-in-chief who appoints its heads.

“The manner in which the court is structured, both legally and in practice, it is not possible for any person who is not in the good books of the commander-in-chief to get justice in the military courts until they petition for the intervention of the civil courts,” he said.

Mushabe, who is handling several cases before the military court, makes reference to his experience while handling former spy chief, Sejusa’s cases.

“I am not surprised that [Gen. Kale Kayihura] has not been charged. It is only those who don’t know what happens there that are shocked,” he said.

“All the people who preside over the court are appointed by the commander-in-chief and they are serving officers of the military who by military practice are expected to obey his commands….So, if you are someone like Gen Kayihura, who has rubbed him the wrong way, you are likely to face a team that acts on his [the president’s] orders and directives. This is what I have experienced while handling Gen Sejusa’s case.”

“I am the witness. While handling the Sejusa case, you would submit to the panel about any act that contravenes the law, but they will just say the law is the law, and it not the practice of the court,” he said.
Uganda also regularly tries civilians in its general court-martial, contrary to human rights standards. 

Transparency watch: the Kafr Qasem record of trial hearing

The Israeli Military Court of Appeals is conducting a proceeding to determine whether the record of trial of border policemen prosecuted as a result of a 1956 massacre should be opened to the public. Haaretz's Ofer Aderet has the story here. Excerpt:
In hearings behind closed doors over the past few months, numerous government officials, including the Foreign Ministry, the military censor, the state archivist and the army archivist gave testimony. The military prosecutor is opposed to making the information public. The main reasons were given behind closed doors, but the general grounds were stated as follows: “At this time, any additional revelation of the minutes from the Kafr Qasem trial, beyond those that the public can already examine, will harm the security of the state, its foreign relations, and in certain cases will certainly compromise people’s privacy and well-being, precluding release of the material from a legal standpoint.”