Investigations into Terrorism Charges Against 11 NUP Suspects Incomplete

The prosecution has said that investigations into the charges of terrorism against 11 National Unity Platform-NUP suspects are incomplete.

The suspects are Abdul Katumba, a businessman from Nabweru North One Zone, Nansana Municipality, Abdallah Katumba, a resident of Growers Zone, Kawempe Zone, Hamidu Ssekidde, a businessman, Muhamud Kalyango, a resident of Tula, Wilber Kairugala, a resident of Kibwa Zone, Sulaiman Male alias Kyewalabye, a resident of Lwadsa A Zone, Gombe Division and Hamidu Muyobi, a Carpenter resident of Jinja Karoli.

Others are Issa Makumbi, a Carpenter, Umar Magala, a Personal Assistant to the Executive Secretary for Works and Physical Planning at KCCA, a resident of Kakungulu Zone, and Resty Birungi Nabbosa, a Peasant, a resident of Busakya Village, Matuga Gombe Division.

The prosecution alleges that on May 7th, 2023, in Nabweru North Zone, Nansana Municipality, the suspects committed acts of terrorism by purchasing and manufacturing improvised explosive devices (petrol bombs) without regard for the safety of others.

On Tuesday, when the matter came up for an update on the status of investigations before Chief Magistrate Sarah Namusobya, State Attorney Richard Birivumbuka told the court that investigations by the police are incomplete and asked for an adjournment.

Namusobya adjourned the case to September 12th. The suspects who appeared via Zoom connecting to Luzira prison were further been remanded.

About two weeks ago, the same court dismissed an application in which the suspects through their lawyer Shamim Malende, requested the court to refer their case to the Constitutional Court for interpretation on the grounds that charging them before the completion of investigations violates their right to a speedy trial.

But Biruvumbuka opposed the application, arguing that there is no issue warranting constitutional interpretation.

He said the law allows the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) six months to complete investigations in capital offenses.

The prosecution stated that they were still within the investigation timeline since the alleged crimes took place about three months ago.

Namusobya agreed with the prosecution and dismissed the application with advice that the suspects should either file a direct Constitutional Court petition or pursue the matter under the Human Rights Enforcement Act if they so wish.

This is the second case involving NUP supporters facing charges related to the possession of improvised explosives. Another group of 32 NUP supporters is currently facing trial in the General Court Martial for unlawful possession of ammunition.

The group was arrested in May 2021 and is accused of being in illegal possession of 13 explosive devices, which are typically under the control of the defense forces. The alleged crime occurred between November 2020 and May 2021 in various areas, including Jinja, Mbale, Kireka, Nakulabye, Kawempe, Natete, and Kampala Central.

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