The Ag. Chief Justice Alfonse Chigamoy Owiny-Dollo is set to open the second Court of Appeal scientific session at Mbale High Court in which 40 criminal appeals will be disposed of.
The session will be presided over by Justices; Frederick Egonda-Ntende, Cheborion Barishaki and Muzamiru Kibeedi. Hand-in-hand with a team of prosecutors, the new Director of Public Prosecution, Justice Jane Frances Abodo, will make her maiden court appearance in Mbale where she will handle some appeals before returning to Kampala to handle other administrative duties.
Out of the 40 appeals, murder ranks highest with 17 cases followed by aggravated defilement with 12 cases and aggravated robbery with seven. The other appeals are on offences of operating a pharmacy without a license, rape, arson and criminal trespass, each with one case.
In one case, the appellant seeks to quash a death sentence while in four others the appeals are against life convictions meted by the High Court.
The first case on the cause-list, is a State appeal against the acquittal of 12 people who were acquitted on first appeal on charges of arson, inciting violence, doing grievous harm and assault. The offence was committed in Tororo District where the appellants were convicted for burning several houses belonging to their neighbours in an inter-tribal clash.
The Ag. Registrar Court of Appeal, Ayebare Tumwebaze, said the session will be scientific.
“Since the appellants/prisoners will not come to Court due to the threat of Covid-19, the hearings will be via zoom technology. Lawyers will carry along laptop computers for the session. The court will provide internet connectivity and their lordships will host the zoom session while sitting at Mbale High Court,” he said.
He urged the lawyers in conduct of the matters to observe the Covid-19 prevention guidelines issued by the Chief Justice and Ministry of Health on social distancing, hand washing, sanitization and wearing face masks among others.