MPS Question Delayed Refund Of Bail Fees

4065 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Judges and magistrates should not use non payment of bail fees in courts to deny suspects the right to bail.

Requirements for bail fees in courts have been used to deny suspects their constitutional right to bail, some members of parliament have said.
The MPs also note that the suspects find difficulties having their money refunded once the cases have been disposed of.

Aruu County legislator, Odonga Otto says the requirement for bail fees to be paid at Commercial banks has been abused especially in cases where opposition figures have been charged.

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Otto says his one million shillings which he paid to secure bail almost two years ago has not been refunded by the judiciary even when the case was disposed of.

He says the process of recovering money is tedious and that many suspects have not been told that the money, which is currently paid to Uganda Revenue Authority, is refundable.

Mohammed Nsereko, the Kampala Central MP says suspects who may not be in position to pay the bail fees should still be allowed to enjoy their right to bail since they are still innocent as per the Ugandan criminal law.

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But High court registrar Ruhinda Ntengye, says the judiciary decided to have all bail fees banked at Commercial banks to avoid situations where court officials would embezzle the money.

He says the judges and magistrates should only ask for cash bail fees in situations where they suspect that the persons involved may not return to court for trial.

Ntengye says in the meantime the judiciary wants Uganda Revenue Authority to establish bail fees payment centers at courts in response to the outcry.

He admits that the process of having bail fees refunded in cases which are concluded takes long adding that the money has to be requested from Uganda Revenue Authority.