Thursday, February 5, 2015

Are "the slows" catching?

Brig. Michael Ondoga (left)
Global Military Justice Reform observed the other day that the mutiny case in Freetown, Sierra Leone, seems to be just chugging along. The same can be said of the recently concluded court-martial of Major Zaidi Ahmad in Malaysia and the still-pending Uganda Peoples's Defence Force general court-martial of Brig. Michael Ondoga, which has been adjourned because a government witness who is a senior officer failed to show up, allegedly because of urgent official duty.

Editor's comment: If one of the reasons for having a separate military justice system is to dispense speedy justice, you would never know it from cases like these. The parliaments in these countries ought to change the grounds rules so that trials gain higher priority and can be conducted in, normally, one fell swoop, even if they last more than a day. The present arrangements only detract from public confidence in the administration of justice.

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