Friday, September 16, 2016

The case of the Ugandan parliamentarian

As previously noted, the general court-martial in Uganda has rejected a Member of Parliament's claim that that he is not subject to military trial because he is a civilian. (Four other accuseds are in the same boat.) Now the High Court has ruled against him as well, according to this account:
High Court Judge Patricia Wasswa Basaza has ruled that the Nakawa Municipality MP Micheal Kabaziguruka is subject to military law and therefore he should be tried by the General Court Martial for offences relating to security and treachery. 
The judge based her ruling on Section 119 of the UPDF Act which gives unlimited jurisdiction and powers to the Army Court to try civilians such as Kabaziguruka. 
According to the judge, unless this section is repealed or invalidated by the Constitutional Court, it makes civilian suspects subject to military law for allegedly aiding serving UPDF officers to commit offences. 
Justice Basaza has also dismissed Kabaziguruka’s claims that the Court Martial lacks impartiality to accord him justice saying the MP petitioned a wrong court which has no powers to address such a grievance. 
She instead reasoned that Kabazigurka who has been on remand at Kigo Prison since June this year should have petitioned the Constitutional Court.
The question now is whether Mr. Kabaziguruka will take his case to the Constitutional Court.

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