Pakistanis cleared of sodomy, gang-rape

KAMPALA. Buganda Road Chief Magistrate’s Court has acquitted two Pakistanis who had been accused of sexually abusing a 23-year old woman Zainabu Mbabazi.
Chief Magistrate Lillian Bucyana on Monday freed Mr Ahamad Shahbaz and Mr Muhammad Wagas for insufficient evidence.
In her judgment, Ms Bucyana cited the woman was examined by the police surgeon Dr Emmanuel Nuwamanya who said her genitals were found normal and had no bruises in her anus and her pelvic muscles were normal and relaxed. This cast doubt of the accusation that she had been gang-raped and sodomised. Although she was referred to Mulago Hospital for a scan, the report was never presented in court during the trial. The doctors who treated the victim at Mulago for over a month were also not brought to court to testify. This weakened the prosecution case in favour of the accused.
“Under circumstances where the victim (Mbabazi)oncealed some information from the prosecution and the investigating officer the nature of her true relationship with one of the suspects who is on the run and the fact that she was once pregnant for the same person which was brought out during cross-examination, it would be unfair and unjust to convict the accused,” Ms Bucyana ruled.
The magistrate further reasoned that since the woman never shared the residence with the accused and was an employee to Mr Zaheer Muhammed who was responsible for the pregnancy, there is no way the charge of domestic violence would stand against the accused persons.
“Also given the circumstances of this case, it does not favour the principle of convicting the accused on uncorroborated evidence,” Ms Bucyana said.
Concluding her judgment, the magistrate said she was aware of the public criticism that is likely to arise from her verdict on the case.
However there was ruckus at the court premises when the victim rolled herself on the ground while screaming on top of her voice, a sign of dissatisfaction with the court’s decision.
Utility
The duo and their colleagues, now on the run, were accused of gang-raping and sodomising Mbabazi between December 2012 and July 2013. They were arrested on October 11, 2013.

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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