Uganda: State Withdraws Case Against Besigye

The Director of Public Prosecution has withdrawn a case in which Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) former presidential candidate Kizza Besigye had charged with disobeying lawful orders at Kasangati court.

Without giving details, state lawyer Anthony Kyomuhendo, told court presided over by Mr Freddy Egessa that article 120 gives the DPP mandate to withdraw any criminal charges against any suspect.

Mr Kyomuhendo further told court that if Besigye or his lawyers wanted to know details and why the state had decided to withdraw charges should contact the DPP's public Realtion's office.

In his reaction, Dr Besigye told court that, "This is total abuse of power. The issue of the DPP abusing his office should be addressed. This is not the first time the state is withdrawing such a case."

Besigye's lawyer, Ernest Kalibala also tried to object to the tendering in of a Nolle Prosequi (a formal notice of abandonment by a prosecutor of all or part of a suit or action) saying they should continue with the case to its conclusion because the matter is at its advanced stage.

"We have already had several witnesses testify in this case. Our fear is that the state may came up with another charge," he said.

The case arose shortly after the Inspector General of Police Gen Kale Kayihura ordered his men to leave Dr Besigye's Kasangati residence after camping there for more than 40 days to restrict his movements following his defiance words after he lost the February 18 polls to incumbent President Museveni. Dr Besigye was arrested by the police on his first day out near Mulago Roundabout on grounds that he led a procession which was not cleared by the police. He was then whisked to Naggalama police station and released in the late hours of the night.

Prosecution alleged that Dr Besigye disobeyed instructions by a police officer to drive from Mulago round-about, through Yusuf Lule road, Mukwano road and on to Najjanankumbi, and insisted on driving through Wandegeya, with the view of passing through the city centre.

Source: The Monitor

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