Politics

Government Uncomfortable as Besigye Seeks Bail

Kizza Besigye in Court

Former Forum for Democratic Change presidential candidate Dr. Kizza Besigye on Monday morning locked horns with government in court as the former sought for temporary release from Luzira prison where he has been held for treason charges since May.

Besigye represented by counsels Ernest Kalibbala and Fredrick Mpanga told court presided over by Justice Wilson Masalu Musene that he has been on remand for a long time since May, physician http://cosmoveda.de/wp-content/plugins/woocommerce/includes/class-wc-checkout.php 13 which qualifies him to be granted temporary release from prison.

“The applicant has exceptional circumstances like being of advanced age because according to court anyone who has clocked 50 years and above is considered to be of advanced age. He is 60 years of age, viagra sale ” Kalibbala told court.

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“He has a fixed place of residence in Kasangati where he can be found plus substantial sureties that would ensure he complies with the bail conditions.”

The lawyers presented FDC president Maj. Gen. Mugisha Muntu who was described as a longtime friend to Besigye dating back to the bush war and also his former commander in the army; as one of the sureties.

Other sureties included Roland Mugume Kaginda (Rukungiri Municipality MP), Nathan Nandala Mafabi( FDC Secretary General) and Rubaga Mayor Nabbosa Ssebuggwawo.

One of Besigye's lawyers Ernest Kalibbala

One of Besigye’s lawyers Ernest Kalibbala

“My Lord I pray that court is pleased to find the sureties substantial because their duties have been clearly explained to them,” Kalibbala told the judge.

The lawyers argued that in case released on bail, Besigye is willing to comply with the conditions that court may wish to put on him before the temporary release, adding that he has an impeccable record of complying with such conditions in the previous cases.

According to Kalibbala, the opposition strongman is willing to appear in court when required, for purposes of hearing the treason case he is battling.

Government uneasy

However, in their response state prosecutors Brian Kalinaki and Florence Akello told court that they were in disagreement with the bail application by Besigye insisting that he has not satisfied court in regard to his request for temporary release.

They argued that there are circumstances that his lawyers ought to have fulfilled before court could see if it can grant their client bail.

“Whereas Article 23 allows him to apply for bail, it is not automatic that the bail would be granted. Court may refuse to allow the bail application if he fails to prove the exceptional circumstances,” Principle State Attorney Florence Akello told justice Musene.

While Besigye’s lawyers argued that their client is of advanced age, Akello noted that they needed to provide documented proof, such as his birth certificate.

Justice Wilson Musene Masalu.

Justice Wilson Musene Masalu.

Grave Offence

The government lawyers also argued that Besigye was arrested for treason charges; an offence an offense that carries maximum (death) sentence.

“He was a former leader of FDC party and a presidential candidate. He is a political leader with high influence and if released on bail, he might interfere with investigations because of having a big number of followers,” Akello argued.

The lawyers also said that Besigye was arrested for disputing the general elections and declaring the defiance campaign which is against the Supreme Court ruling that the elections were free and fair. The lawyers fear that upon being released he could resume his campaign.

Akello said that the defiance campaign was declared illegal by the Constitutional court but Besigye continued with his ‘defiant’ activities which according to the government lawyer was a sign he has no respect for court orders.

“It is a constitutional duty of every Ugandan to protect the constitution and court but he never did that. We feel that if he is granted bail, he would resume with his defiance campaign.”

The lawyers however asked the High Court judge to consider strict terms in case he decided to grant temporary freedom to the opposition strongman.

“If granted bail, stringent terms should be set so that he is stopped from activities that could lead to breach of peace and affect the public,” the state prosecutors asked court on Monday morning.

However in response, Besigye’s lawyers   described  the arguments of government lawyers as baseless that  could not  be relied on asking court to  disregard them and grant their client temporary freedom.

High Court judge Wilson Musene Masalu set tomorrow Tuesday July , 12  to decide the fate of the opposition strongman in regards to his bail application.

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