Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Uganda court-martial with midstream change of members, other issues

This New Vision account of a pending Uganda court-martial includes some disturbing allegations by the defense (bracketed numbers added):
The accused’s lawyer, Ladislaus Rwakafuuzi, submitted that his client had no case to answer and asked court to dismiss the charges without putting him to his defense.
Court established the state had made out a case against [Amon] Byarugaba and asked him to defend himself, but he chose to keep quiet. Rwakafuuzi had submitted that the witnesses were accomplices, and that [1] the accused was no longer subject to military law because he retired.
He argued that no weapon was produced in court to prove the existence of a plot to overthrow government, and that his [2] long detention [since 2003] without a trial and a [3] decision by military police not to produce the accused in court following a High Court order violated his rights.
The court will deliver judgment on March 24. Rwakafuuzi expressed worry the current members of the court martial do not have facts about the case, and that [4] the court’s composition has changed several time since the trial began. “You didn’t hear the evidence and you are going to decide his fate,” he said.
The court chairman, Maj. Gen. Levy Karuhanga said “We have got the information about the case,” Rwakafuuzi replied.

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