Indian Businessman Murder: Trial Starts in Kabale

The trial of a case involving the alleged killing of an Indian businessman in Kisoro district by a police officer and five other individuals has commenced in the High Court.

The case was transferred from Kisoro to Kabale on August 9, 2023, due to concerns raised by the Kisoro State Attorney’s office indicating that three prosecution witnesses were facing threats from unidentified individuals.

The victim, Patel Kuntaj, 24, operated a hardware outlet in Kisoro municipality. He was reportedly shot on October 27, 2022, allegedly by Eliod Gumizamu, who was attached to the Nyakabande refugee transit center. Kuntaj succumbed to his injuries at St. Francis Hospital in Mutolere due to excessive bleeding.

The incident involved Gumizamu and unidentified men who entered the hardware shop. Gumizamu allegedly fired a shot at Kuntaj using an AK 17 gun before attempting to escape on a motorcycle but was apprehended by residents. Gumizamu reportedly confessed that he had been hired by a businessman to kill Kuntaj in exchange for Shillings 20 million.

Following the investigation, six suspects were arrested in connection to the murder, including Patel Hatel, Godfrey Ntibakunze, Bernard Nteziyaremye, Gardiso Nyabangabo (Gardson), Charles Nteziryayo, and Elioda Gumisiriza.  

The trial began in Kabale High Court on Monday, presided over by Justice Samuel Emokor.

The prosecution is represented by Grace Ntegge Nabagala, a Senior State prosecutor, while the accused are represented by Rogers Nabasa and Urban Namanya from Ruhindi & Spenser Advocates.

During the proceedings, testimonies were provided by Rugenditumar Kumal Patel, the deceased’s relative, Rebecca Tumwebaze, a worker of Rugenditumar, and Pius Asiimwe, the Officer-in-Charge of Kisoro police station.

They implicated Gumizamu in the shooting of Kuntaj, but did not implicate the other accused individuals.

Justice Emokor adjourned the case until today August 15, 2023, to allow for the testimony of two more witnesses who are expected to provide further information about the accused.

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