American couple Mackenzie Leigh Mathias Spencer and Nicholas Spencer have been granted bail.
The couple was released by High Court Judge Isaac Muwata.
The couple is facing for charges of aggravated trafficking in children, torture of a 10-year-old boy, unlawful stay, and working without a permit. Last week, they were committed to the International Crimes Division of the High Court for trial.
Through their lawyers led by David Mpanga from AF Mpanga Advocates, the couple applied for bail pending hearing of their case.
The couple claimed that they have pre-existing medical conditions that require to be handled outside prison, not a threat to any investigation; offences against them are bailable and still enjoy the presumption of innocence.
Appearing before Court, the couple was granted Shs50 million cash bail each. In his ruling, Muwata instructed them to deposit their passports with the Court and obtain permission from the International Crimes Division of the High Court before traveling outside the country.
Prosecution avers that Spencer aged 32 and his wife Mackenzie, a 32-year-old, volunteer, fostered three children, including Kayima John, in 2018, from Welcome Ministry, in Jinja City.
The couple has been on remand for mistreating a 10-year-old child, who was one of the children in their care. According to the amended plaint or charge sheet, the couple reportedly adopted a 10-year-old boy, whom they then mistreated on grounds that he was obstinate.
The suspects came to Uganda in 2017 and started working with Akola Project, based in Jinja. The couple joined the Motive Creation Agency and moved with their children to Upper Naguru, where they have been staying together.
It was however, realised that between the year 2020 and December 2022, the couple constantly tortured John Kayima, a 10-year-old pupil of Dawn Children’s Center in Ntinda, which attracted the attention of neighbours.
The couple kept the victim barefoot, and naked throughout the day, would occasionally make him squat in an awkward position, with his head facing the floor and hands spread out widely, he spent his nights on a wooden platform, without a mattress or beddings and was served cold meals from the fridge.
The suspects came to Uganda in 2017, where Nicholas started working with AKOLA Project based in Jinja. In 2018, they fostered 3 children including the victim from Welcome Ministry – Jinja. They moved to Kampala when they joined Motive Creation Agency, with their three children.