Kampala. Ten years later, suspected serial killer Baker Walusimbi has regained his temporary freedom after the High Court in Kampala released him on bail.
Court was compelled to release Mr Walusimbi after two assessors mysteriously went missing and yet the prosecution had asked to be given more time to reorganise itself in order to prosecute the matter afresh.
Mr Walusimbi is accused of killing several university female students by slitting their throats, raping and robbing them of their personal belongings in 2005.
He was released on a non-cash bail of Shs20m by Justice Yasin Nyanzi on Tuesday.
Two of his sureties were each bonded at a non cash sum of Shs50m.
Mr Walusimbi was also released on grounds that he had overstayed on remand and the next criminal session might not be soon since there are no funds to run sessions.
A source familiar with this matter, yesterday told Daily Monitor that the prosecution is dissatisfied with the release since it was not their fault but that of the court that failed to trace for the missing assessors and have the matter concluded.
“I was very disappointed but not shocked. I am annoyed by the court hiding its own shame for failing to produce its own assessors and instead portrayed the state as the ones responsible for the delayed completion of the case,” a source said
The case arose about two years ago when the court assigned assessors Janet Nandudu and John Bosco Higenyi vanished when the matter was about to reach the judgment stage.
The duo, by law, were supposed to give their lay man’s opinion by advising court on whether to convict or acquit Walusimbi at the end of the criminal trial.
The Trial on Indictment Act, Section 69(2), demands that if court assessors in a case cannot be traced, the trial must start afresh.
However, the prosecution is cynical of trending this path given the long time spent between when the matter was first heard and now.
If the case is to be heard afresh, it will mean that the prosecution will have to look for the witnesses afresh and yet majority could have relocated and also can’t remember vividly what transpired in the alleged commission of the crimes.
Mr Walusimbi faces four counts of robbery and three counts of murder of Moreno Nebulae, a student; and Jacqueline Najjombwe and Maria Katasi, both residents of Najjanankumbi on Entebbe Road.