The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has dropped terrorism charges against Dr Aggrey Kiyingi, a Ugandan heart specialist based in Australia.
Dr Kiyingi was facing charges ranging from terrorism, seven counts of murder, nine counts of aggravated robbery, one count of aiding and abetting terrorism, one count of crimes against humanity, four counts of attempted murder and one count of belonging to a terrorist organisation. He was jointly accused with 38 other individuals, including Jamil Mukulu, the leader of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF).
“The three people [Dr Kiyingi, Muzafar Kaule and Sheikh Swaliden Balieya] are still at large and their hearing was discontinued by DPP until we arrest them. The withdraw letters were handed to the magistrate’s courts in Jinja and Mbale since they have never been committed to the High Court,” senior assistant DPP John Baptist Asiimwe told the International Division of the High Court on Friday.
He also presented an amended indictment adding two suspects to the charge sheet – Joseph Masereka and Adam Dean Luwooza, putting the total number of accused suspects in this regard at 38.
The court is currently conducting a pre-trial session to determine whether the case should go to full trial.
Mr Mukulu is accused of launching a rebellion when he formed ADF out of remnants of the National Army for the Liberation of Uganda (NALU), terrorising people in western Uganda areas of Rwenzori, leading to the death of many.
The accusations of engaging in terrorism against Dr Kiyingi first came into the public domain in 2014 when he said he intended to challenge President Museveni in the 2016 elections.
During pre-trial, the prosecution asked for more time to complete their full disclosures of evidence to the defense lawyers, saying they failed to meet the time allocated to them for the same because of “logistical issues”.
Mr Ladislaus Rwakafuuzi, one of the defence lawyres, asked court to order the DPP to come out with a clear number of boxes of exhibits that they should give to them after his colleague, Mr Wandera Ogalo, informed court that he got seventeen boxes yet he got eleven with one box file.
Court also heard that lawyers representing victims are not yet facilitated by the Judiciary, which has constrained them to visit and interview their victims; which would be a vital step for this case to start -off.
Presiding single judge Eva Luswata, in her brief ruling, said progress has been made since most of the disclosures had been done and there was no objection to the adjournment of the case by the defence lawyers. She assured the accused that the court is “working hard” to have the “not just like an ordinary case” heard as soon as possible.
The accusations of engaging in terrorism against Dr Kiyingi first came into the public domain in 2014 when he said he intended to challenge President Museveni in the 2016 elections. It is reported then that Dr Kiyingi in 2009 formed a rebel group known as Federal Alliance. Govt also alleged that in 2013, he contacted Sheikh Moody Bukenya and a one Hakim Kinene Muswaswa, to assist him recruit people and former ADF rebels for training and for purposes of engaging in terrorism activities in the city centre.