Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Uganda police officers withdraw jurisdictional objection to court-martial

There's been a surprising turn of events in the court-martial case involving members of the Uganda police. According to this report from The Independent:
Seven Senior Police Officers have been charged before the Army Court in Makindye with kidnap of two people.

These had refused to plead to the said charges last month saying the General Court Martial had no jurisdiction to try their case, and were then remanded to prison.

On Monday, SPC Joel Aguma, SSP Nixon Agasirwe Karuhanga, D/ASP James Magada, D/AIP Benon Atwebembeirwe, D/Sgt Abel Tumukunde, SPC Faisal Katende and D/CPL Amon Kwarisima appeared before the seven-member-panel of the Army Court, and pleaded not guilty to the allegation.

Through their lawyers led by Caleb Alaka they informed the Court Chairman Lt. Gen. Andrew Gutti that they had dropped the earlier objections and are now willing to take plea.

The officers are jointly charged with two foreigners Rene Rutangugira and Bahati Mugenga for allegedly conveying two people Joel Mutabazi and Jackson Mutabaazi to the Rwanda Government without their consent.
It's unclear why the accuseds dropped their jurisdictional objection. Perhaps a plea bargain?

Human rights norms limit the use of courts-martial to military personnel.

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