STATE APOLOGISES FOR DELAYING INVESTIGATIONS
BY mknewlink REPORTER
The state prosecutor has apologized for the continued delay in investigations in a treason case against former FDC presidential candidate Dr. Kizza Besigye.
Besigye told court presided over by Nakawa chief magistrate Jamaes Eremy Mawanda on friday morning that since may when he was arrested,investigations have never been concluded which is inconveniencing court proceedings.
He said the ingredients in the case do not need investigations since they are of common knowledge in nature and actions through which state accuses him of having been done that relates to treason charges are on record which should not take state a lot of time investigating.
“The Constitution is clear that the accused in criminal cases should receive justice as soon as possible. I don’t know what they are still investigating because it is true I demanded an independent audit into the February elections before a new president could be sworn in,” Dr. Besigye tells chief Magistrate.
“I also said that I was the duly elected President of the Republic of Uganda in the last elections, and I have repeated it now. The problem is that they (State) know that these remarks do not constitute a treason offense.
Besigye said that prosecutors must not waste time doing investigations since he still maintains he was the duly elected president in the concluded elections.
“I have difficulty in looking after myself and the family over such tramped up charges. I ask that you (Magistrate) should dismiss the case so that they can be reinstated when the DPP feels he is ready.”
The Principle state Attorney handling the case, Lino Anguzo however, told the Magistrate that the court had no powers to dismiss such a grave offence adding that it can only be done by the High Court.
“We regret that the investigations have taken longer than we expected but nevertheless, this court has no jurisdiction to dismiss this case, ”Anguzo told the magistrate.
“Unfortunately this is court only performs preparatory functions as far as the merits of the charges in this matter are concerned.”
The lead prosecutor told court he was not in position to tell when the investigations would be complete stressing that it is the police that do the job and not the DPP’s office.
“While the DPP is given powers to investigate criminal matters, it’s not him or his office to personally investigate .It is one reason we have delayed.”
The magistrate concurred with the state prosecutor that his court has no jurisdiction to dismiss the case; asking Besigye to refer to the High Court where he was granted bail.
He adjourned the case to September 12.
Addressing journalists shortly after court, Besigye expressed concern over what he termed as colonial laws stressing that there is need to change some articles in the constitution.
“There is need to see that only courts with jurisdiction handle criminal cases other than the Magistrates courts that have no powers.
In this case I can take 10 years coming here when the case had not been dismissed or investigations concluded,” Besigye worried.
He noted he would seek audience from relevant authorities like Parliament and the Attorney General to see how this can be addressed.
Besigye was in May arrested and flown to Moroto government prison before being returned and charged with treason charges at the Nakawa magistrate’s court.