[F]our Lawyers commissioned by the Uganda Law Society to represent 104 of the suspects on pro bono (free legal services) were blocked from doing so on grounds that they had not complied with Regulation 77(3) of the UPDF General Court Martial Rules of Procedure, which requires private lawyers to file notices of instructions to represent accused persons in the court, at least 24 hours prior to the court sitting.
The same lawyers had however three days earlier been cleared to represent the suspects in Kasese, when the court sat there from 5th to 7th Jul, though they walked out on the second day following the court’s rejection of their prayer to suspend the trial of the accused 57 persons. The Court Registrar Capt Bizimana said the notice filed in respect to the Kasese case could not admit the group to the Bundibugyo session, since these were different case files.
Attempts by the group leader Kiiza Aaron to file the notice as a soft copy, which he had on his iPad, were turned down by the court on grounds that it did not bear a stamp. They were advised to attend court only in observer capacity till they fully comply with the requirements of filing the notices of instructions to represent the suspects.