Crime & Investigation

Police Spy Tape Case Heard in Camera

Poteri in the dock

find geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 150%;”>In his submission, state prosecutor Lino Anguzo told the magistrate on Wednesday the request is not in bad faith but rather in the interest of justice and safety of the witnesses lined up to testify in the matter.

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Anguzo stressed that according to Article 40(1) of the Magistrates court Act, Section 28(2) of the Constitution and Section 14(2) of the official secrets act, the magistrate has powers to order for a hearing in camera if the matter has issues concerning morality, public order and national security.

The state further told Buchana the police officer is being charged with unlawful disclosure of state assets, adding, “these have never been declassified and are likely to be given as part of evidence during hearing which might be a threat to national security.”

The prosecutor explained he had paraded two witnesses whom he said include police investigators and informers whose identity he would not want to be disclosed if the hearing was made public.

According to the prosecutor, “the nature of evidence to be adduced in the matter if published might cause discord between the police leadership and cabinet.”

Sources said the witnesses were expected to pin Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi’s wife Jacqueline Mbabazi of conniving with the accused to steal police secrets regarding a conversation between IGP Gen Kale Kayihura and NRM officials suspected of indulging in subversive activities.

However, the defence team led by Shaban Ssenywa and Vincent Mugisha told court that the application was not in good faith, stressing that his rights are continuously being stepped on by the state.

The defence lawyers further informed the presiding magistrate that “police tactics are not different from tactics of other investigators in other crimes” which they said would permit hearing in public.

The Chief magistrate, however, allowed only the defence and prosecution sides to her chambers for hearing to kick off.

Prosecution alleges that in March 2014 while at the Criminal Investigations and Intelligence Directorate (CIID) headquarters, Kampala Road, Mapeera House, Office of the Prime Minister and the NRM secretariat, Ronald Poteli being in possession of an official secret entrusted to him in confidence as a person holding an office of the government of Uganda, did pass on confidential information to persons not authorised to receive it contrary to section 4(i) (a) of the official secrets act.

The detective was early last month arrested after an internal investigation indicated he had handed over the secret recordings to Jacqueline Mbabazi.


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