Thursday, April 27, 2017

Five freed (out of 11) on Uganda court-martial appeal

On evidentiary grounds, the Uganda Court Martial Court of Appeal has overturned the convictions of 5 out of 11 civilians who were tried on weapons charges in 2015. The other 6 will serve out their 25-year sentences. Details can be found here. The Court of Appeal rejected all of the appellants' argument that they were not subject to trial by court-martial.
Mr [Elly] Turyamubona [who chaired the three-member appellate court] ruled that Section 119(1) of the UPDF Act provides that a person can be tried in the court martial on accusations of using guns of which the army has monopoly to control. 
"Possession of fire arms was proved by the prosecution witnesses therefore court had jurisdiction to try the appellants," court ruled. 
Court records show that the eleven were among the 57 people who were arrested for attacking policemen guarding a weigh bridge along Kasese-Mbarara High way in Kasese District in July 2014. 
Court heard that during the attack the group was armed with spears and machetes among weapons.
The use of military courts to try civilians is strongly disfavored by human rights standards and forbidden outright by the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are subject to moderation and must be submitted under your real name. Anonymous comments will not be posted (even though the form seems to permit them).