Nsenga trial: Lawyers charge at each other

KAMPALA

The trial of Jacqueline Uwera Nsenga on Friday turned into a theatre of sorts as defence lawyers and State prosecutors engaged in a hot exchange of words before the judge.
Uwera is accused of killing her husband, Juvenal Nsenga, when she ran over him with a car at their residence in Bugolobi suburb. She denies the charges. The trial, in its second day, started rather peacefully with the scene of
crime officer, Assistant Inspector of Police John Bosco Munaku, giving court a reconstruction of the crime scene.
“Our task was to reconstruct the scene of crime, we found the gate and car had a dent. We took blood samples which we confirmed belonged to Juvenal Nsenga. I assisted the medical team with the postmortem. The left ear was missing on the deceased’s body,” he told court.
After his testimony, principal state attorney Susan Okalany asked court to adjourn the hearing as other State witnesses had failed to turn up.
“One of our witnesses is in Kyankwazi doing exams, another one is in Kabalye for police training and police are still tracing others,” she said.
To this, presiding judge Duncan Gaswaga said: “This case was allocated two days and I am here on special duty. I have other cases to hear. I wanted the accused to walk out of this court guilty or not guilty.” The judge, who is presiding over 20 other cases in a special session, added: “If this case fails, it won’t be the problem of the judge. We gave you enough time.”
The defence lawyer, Mr Nsubuga Mubiru, said: “My Lord, you have said everything but we suspect that she is delaying the case so that the accused returns to jail.”
Before he could finish his submission, a frantic Okalany countered: “My Lord, he is attacking my personality. Don’t point fingers at me. I am not your child or wife.”
As the judge signalled them to sit down, Mr Nsubuga shouted at Ms Okalany, sending the fully packed courtroom into laughter with some cheering and others sneering.

“Sit down as I address this court,” Justice Gaswaga intervened. “All of you sit down. As long as I am hearing this case, all of you shall sit down and only one person shall address me at a time,” he added.
It took the intervention of defence lawyer Yunus Kasirivu to calm down a furious Okalany who threatened to hit Mr Nsubuga with her brief case. Mr Kasirivu stood between her and Mr Nsubuga as the judge vacated the courtroom.

Judge acts
He summoned both sides to his chambers and the trial in open court resumed at 12:04pm, with the State producing another police detective as witness. After the detective’s testimony, Ms Okalany reiterated her plea for adjournment to which Mr Nsubuga replied: “If you are forced to adjourn this court, we shall apply for bail for the accused.”
The judge adjourned the case to July 18 for further hearing but declined to grant bail to Ms Nsenga as requested by her defence lawyer. Justice Gaswaga warned the State to ensure it produces all the remaining witnesses on July 18 or the case will continue without them.

iokuda@ug.nationmedia.com

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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