The Court of Appeal is set to kick off a criminal appeals session in Masaka, starting today Monday, where 41 appeals are to be handled. Of these 41 cases, 22 are appeals against the conviction of aggravated defilement, 14 for murder, three are for aggravated robbery and one against rape.

In one of the appeals, the State is seeking to overturn the acquittal of four men on the charges of Murder while six appellants want the court to quash life sentences handed to them by the High Court.

Justices; Cheborion Barishaki, Stephen Musota and Muzamiru Kibeedi, will be hearing the matters during the session. Thereafter, the Justices will return to the headquarters and embark on a judgment writing process.

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The Deputy Chief Justice, Richard Buteera, will officially open the session and lead the Justices to the Masaka Prison panel. The appellants have been transferred for sensitization on how the session will run.

The Registrar, Court of Appeal, Ms Susan Kanyange, said the scientific session would be conducted via video conferencing. “The video conferencing facility has been set up at Masaka court to provide a direct video link between the Court and the prisons where the appellants will be following proceedings from,” she said.

Video conferencing enables real-time video, audio and data communication and transmission.

Some of the matters cause-listed are 2010 and 2011 appeals. This, the Registrar explains, is one of the efforts by the Court to handle the backlog.

Adding that the Justices are committed to delivering justice to Ugandans.

Between January and March this year, the Court delivered 273 judgments. Later this month, two sessions, one Civil Appeals session and another handling Constitutional petition, will be held. Ms Kanyange said all these are part of a larger year-long work plan that has been adopted by the Court of Appeal to improve service delivery.