Pre-Trial Hearing of Kaweesi Murder Suspects Fails to Take Off
The pre-trial hearing in the case in which eight people are accused of murdering former Police Spokesperson Andrew Felix Kaweesi on Tuesday failed to proceed due to the absence of the prosecutor.
Kaweesi was shot dead on March 17th, 2017 together with his bodyguard Kenneth Erau and driver Godfrey Mambewa.
Eight people were arrested and charged with murder, aggravated robbery, terrorism, aiding and abetting terrorism, and belonging to a terrorist organization the Allied Democratic Forces -ADF.
The suspects are Abdulrashid Mbaziira, Hamza Higenyi, Shafiq Kasujja, Yusuf Mugerwa, Bruhan Balyejjusa, Joshua Kyambadde, Jibril Kalyango, and Yusuf Nyanzi.
When the case came up before Lady Justice Alice Komuhangi Khaukha for a further pretrial hearing, the suspects’ lawyer Geoffrey Turyamusiima informed the court that all the accused persons are present and out on bail except Kasujja Shafiq who has skipped the trial and a warrant of arrest was issued against him a few weeks ago.
He added that since the prosecution was not in court, he asked for another pretrial hearing date.
In her response, Justice Komuhangi indicated that the court received information that the prosecution will not be present and therefore they couldn’t proceed without them. She adjourned the matter up to June 6th, 2023.
Court records that Uganda Radio Network has seen indicate that on May 22nd, 2023 the Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions Lino Anguzu who is also the head of the International Crimes Department in the Office of the DPP wrote to the Court seeking adjournment of all cases that had been fixed starting May 23rd to May 25th, 2023.
Anguzu said that the adjournment was due to training and orientation the DPP had organized for all Assistant DPPs and Chief State Attorneys. He also said that all State Attorneys within Kampala Region will be undertaking a payroll special audit and validation head count exercise for all employees under the office of the DPP within this week.
He asked Court to adjourn the cases to a date of its convenience.
Nyanzi, one of the suspects in this case appears on three files containing capital offenses and high-profile murders. He was first arrested in early 2017, on charges of killing the former Police Spokesperson Kaweesi, his bodyguard and driver. He was later charged with the murder of Major Muhammad Kiggundu and his bodyguard Sergeant Steven Mukasa on November 26th, 2016 in Masanafu, a Kampala city suburb.
Barely a year after his release on bail by Lady Justice Lydia Mugambe, security rearrested Nyanzi from his home in Kisaasi Kyanja in connection with the attempted murder of Works and Transport Minister, General Edward Katumba Wamala and the murder of his daughter Brenda Nantongo Wamala and driver, Haruna Kayondo on June 1st, 2021.
He remains on remand to date on these 2021 charges and on Tuesday he sought an application seeking to compel Airtel Uganda to produce his phone records at the time the said crimes took place. But there was no Prosecutor and therefore it couldn’t be heard.
Aramazan Noordin Higenyi alias Taata Abdallazack and Abdurashid Mbaziira alias Buyondo Muhammed were given bail on the Kaweesi murder file but remain on remand to date but on another separate file involving charges of child trafficking which is pending before the Mukono Court.