Court sets date for Brig Ondoga’s fate

Kampala.

The military court has set May 4 to deliver the verdict on Brig Michael Ondoga and Lt Col Sam Kirya, who have been on trial on charges of neglecting their duties during the peace-keeping operations in Somalia.

Brig Ondoga is former commander of the Ugandan forces fighting the al-Shabaab militants in Somalia. Lt Col Kirya was Uganda’s military information officer, under Brig Ondoga’s command in Somalia. The duo is accused of giving the commander of Uganda’s Special Forces (SFC) unit false information about the location of the enemy in Mogadishu.

The prosecution states that they committed the offence at the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) headquarters in Mogadishu on March 27, 2013.

Brig Ondoga and Lt Col Kirya are also accused of failing to stop an illegal power connection from Amisom’s Al-Jazeera training camp to civilian premises in June 2013.

Their lawyer, Mr Frank Kanduho, asked the General Court Martial to acquit the accused on account that the state “bungled up” its case and its witnesses gave fabricated testimonies.
The military court is chaired by Maj Gen Levy Karuhanga.

Presenting his final submissions in the case, Mr Kanduho said the state made no efforts to prove the major ingredients of the charges against the accused.

“The state failed to place Ondoga and Kirya in the briefing room at AMISOM base camp where they allegedly supplied the SFC commanding officer, Maj Asaph Nyakikuru, with false information about the location of al-Shabaab terrorists,” Mr Kanduho said.

He also stated that the prosecution made “an already bad case worse” when it failed to summon Lt Col Chris Ogwal, the former Special Forces Command operations officer, who Nyakikuru claims attended the briefing.

However, the army prosecutor, Maj Fredrick Kangwamu, countered that the prosecution had proved beyond reasonable doubt that the accused committed the offences.

Maj Kangwamu further stated that the accused had failed to explain why they did not reconnect the power supply when they were informed of the illegal connections despite being the ones in charge.

jkigongo@ug.nationmedia.com

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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