14 Suspects Deny Charges in Muslim Cleric's Murder Case

2481 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
According to an amended charge sheet, the 14 suspects and others still at large are accused of indiscriminately involving themselves in the attempted murder or attack on Ssonko Najib, Bahiga Mustapha, Umar Swadiq, Ibrahim Hassan Kirya, Mahamood Kibaate, Haruna Jemba and Omulangira Kassim Nakibinge.

Fourteen suspects accused of masterminding attacks against top Muslim clerics across the country have denied the charges against them.

The 14 suspects pleaded not guilty to the charges of terrorism, murder and attempted murder before a panel of three justices of the International Crimes Division of the High Court (ICD). The panel is led by Justice Ezekiel Muhanguzi. Other justices are Jane Kiggundu and Percy Tuhaise.

Those charged today include; Sheikh Siraji Kawooya, Sheikh Muhamad Yunus Kamoga, Sheikh Murta Mudde Bukenya, Sheikh Fahad Kalungi, Amir Kinene, Hakim Kinene Muswaswa, Katende Yusufu alias Abdallah, Sekayanja Abdulsalam alias Kassim Mulumba, Sematimba Abudulhamid Mubiru, Hamza Kasirye, Twaha Sekitto, Jingo Rashid, Musa Issa Mubiru and Iga George William.

Originally, this matter had 31 suspects but the state discontinued charges against 17 of them. They however face similar but separate charges before Nakawa Court.

According to an amended charge sheet, the 14 suspects and others still at large are accused of indiscriminately involving themselves in the attempted murder or attack on Ssonko Najib, Bahiga Mustapha, Umar Swadiq, Ibrahim Hassan Kirya, Mahamood Kibaate, Haruna Jemba and Omulangira Kassim Nakibinge.

Prosecution also alleges that the acts of the above persons caused the unlawful death of Sheikh Bahiga who was shot dead at Bwebajja along Entebbe Road; Sheikh Abdulkdir Muwaya, who was shot in Mayuge District and Sheikh Hassan Kirya, who was killed in Bweyogerere, Wakiso.

The crimes were allegedly committed between December 2013 and June 2015 in Kampala, Wakiso and Mayuge districts.

Principal state attorney Lino Anguzu told court that they had not summoned witnesses to testify today. As a result, the suspects who were represented by defense lawyers; Fred Muwema, Twaha Mayanja and McDusman Kabega were returned to Luzira prison until tomorrow when they will be produced for trial.
The state expects to summon three doctors to testify against the suspects tomorrow.

Court has also appointed three assessors who will at the end of the hearing give a lay man's opinion on whether to convict or acquit the suspects. They include Judith Muhaiirwe, Ddumba Ahmed and Seguya Robert.