Uganda: Besigye Released on Bail

Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) former presidential candidate Kizza Besigye has been granted bail. High Court judge Wilson Masalu Musene granted Besigye bail of Shs100 million not cash. Each of the four sureties that Besigye presented were also bonded Shs100million not cash.

The sureties included; FDC party president Mugisha Muntu, General Secretary of FDC party, Mr Nathan Nandala Mafabi, Rukungiri Municipality MP Roland Mugume and Rubaga Division mayor, Joyce Ssebugwawo. "Having weighed all the circumstances and factors one after the other (Advanced age, attending previous court sessions and the sureties presented), I am inclined to grant bail to the applicant," judge Musalu said.

The judge cautioned Dr Besigye to refrain from acts of violence and preserve peace in the community until case is disposed-off.

He was ordered to report to the registrar of the court once every two weeks starting July 26.

Initially, the state attorney Florence Akello had objected to Besigye's bail application saying he had not provided court with enough documented evidence such as a birth certificate indicating his age.

But according to judge, neither did the prosecution also bring evidence to disprove that Besigye is 60 years.

On the issue of defiance campaign, the prosecutor said Dr Besigye had defied court orders and went ahead with his defiance activities but the judge in his ruling said the matter is before the Constitutional Court and therefore it would be subjudice to talk about it.

Immediately after the ruling, Besigye's supporters sang the Uganda National Anthem in excitement. Besigye was led back to court holding cells as they process his release forms. This bail application arose on June 7 when Dr Besigye through the prison authorities, applied to be released on bail pending the hearing of the treason case whose date has not yet been fixed.

The ruling of Dr Besigye's bail application was conducted under tight security manned by Aaron Baguma, the CPS commander.

All roads leading to the High Court were sealed off as far as Sheraton Hotel and City Square to the general public and access to the court was limited.

Military police was the most visibly police force that was manning the security at court.

Source: The Monitor