The Court of Appeal has dismissed the bail appeal for Kawempe North MP Muhammad Ssegirinya and Makindye West Legislator Allan Sewanyana.
Earlier this month, the legislators through their lawyers led by the Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago appealed against the High Court ruling denying them bail. They contended that they have been on remand for over Six months without trial and therefore they should be released on bail. Citing medical complications, the two said that they were mishandled before and during arrest and they want to access thorough treatment.
In their ruling, a panel of judges led by Barishaki Cheborion, Christopher Madram and Eva Luswata said Court of Appeal has no jurisdiction to make a decision on a matter that has not been concluded by the lower courts as the accused are neither sentenced nor convicted of the pressed criminal charges.
“Court can only rule on the right of appeal where there is conviction or sentence. It is incumbent upon the high court to fix the trial date. We direct that the files of the accused persons are placed before the principal judge of the High Court to ensure a speedy trial,” Court ruled.
The judges further ruled the appeal is incompetent on grounds raised by state prosecution that the suspects didn’t exhaust all possible avenues for bail.
Following court ruling, the suspects’ lawyers led by Samuel Muyizi vowed to petition the Constitutional Court for interpretation.
The two MPs and four others suspects who have been on remand for over six months are accused of terrorism contrary to section 7 (1) and (2) (d) and (d) of the Anti-Terrorism Act 2002 in count one, aiding and abetting terrorism contrary to section 8 of the Anti-Terrorism Act 2002 in count two, murder contrary to sections 188 and 189 of the Penal code Act in Counts three, four, five and attempted murder contrary to section 204 (a) of the Penal code Act.
Prosecution states that the two legislators together with other suspects -some on remand and others still at large on August, 2, 2021 allegedly killed Joseph Bwanika, a resident of Kisekka Village in Kisekka Sub County in Lwengo District.
It is further alleged that on August 23 at Ssettaala Village in Masaka City, the MPs and their co-accused persons killed Francis Mugerwa Kiiza aka Nswa, Sulaiman Kakooza and Tadeo Kiyimba .
The MPs are also accused of attempting to kill Ronald Ssebyoto, a resident of the same area. They are also accused of financing the killings in the Greater Masaka region.