Kampala. Chief Justice Bart Katureebe has urged the office of the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and the police’s Criminal Investigations Department (CID) to always coordinate their investigations if they are to secure more convictions in court and have less dismissed cases.
Justice Katureebe reminded the investigators and prosecutors who had converged for a two-day workshop in Kampala yesterday that as judges, the standard of proof in criminal cases, still remains “beyond reasonable doubt”.
He said anything less of that standard will be dismissed.
Mr Katureebe cited the murder case involving Jacqueline Uwera Nsenga, who was convicted for knocking her husband, Juvenale Nsenga, dead as one of the cases that exposed the poor coordination between the two offices for having clashed over which exact charges to slap against her.
The office of the DPP had sanctioned murder charges against Jacqueline for knocking her husband dead while driving through the family gate in Bugolobi and yet the police, on the other hand, had preferred traffic-related charges.
“… to make it worse, the officer who investigated the murder came and even testified against the DPP. I can say that we made ourselves look fools,” Justice Katureebe said amid murmurs from the participants.
As a way forward, the Chief Justice said there is no shortcut to having quality investigations without government investing resources in all the law enforcement agencies.
Speaking at the same workshop, the DPP, Justice Mike Chibita, said these two offices need each other as evidenced by hundreds of files moving back and forth between them as they prosecute criminal cases.
He named the challenges that the two offices face as they investigate and prosecute suspected criminals, including lack of enough resources, lack of enough trained personnel, improper exhibit handling and storage, poor interrogation methods, failure to change with new crime trends and failure to respect the chain of command, among others.
Mr Edward Ochom, the director of research, planning and development of the police, who represented the Inspector General of Police Martins Okoth-Ochola, said the new police leadership will not entertain district police commanders who hide sanctioned files by the DPP from reaching court.