UPDF on Sebyara Torture Case: We Respected High Court Ruling

UPDF Spokesperson, Paddy Ankunda. (Photo by: Kenneth Kazibwe/ChimpReports)

The Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) has expressed concern over reports alleging that the Institution disregarded a high court ruling in a case involving one soldier Cpl Majibu Ssebyara who was charged in the General Court-Martial with failure to protect war material.

In a statement released on Wednesday, click December 28th, viagra dosage the UPDF clarifies that it received a High Court ruling that stopped the General Court-Martial (GCM) from proceeding with the trial of the accused on grounds that he was tortured during investigations.

“The GCM respected the ruling of the High court and stopped the trial of the accused on the said offence. The UPDF through the Attorney General has however appealed the High Court ruling on torture and so we are not obliged to comment on the ingredient of matter, because the matter is subjudice,” reads part of the statement released by UPDF spokesperson, Lt. Col. Paddy Ankunda.

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In her November 22, 2016 judgement on the case, High Court Judge Patricia Basaza Wasswa declared the corporal’s trial by the military court as “illegal, null and void” and issued a permanent order staying the proceedings in criminal case.

The judgement was adduced after Sebyara’s lawyers presented compelling evidence that their client had been tortured and forced to plead guilty.

In the letter, UPDF further clarifies that by the time of the High Court ruling, the accused had other cases, under investigations, to answer, among them; “offences relating to security” contrary to section 130 of the UPDF Act, to which he is being tried.

“The current charges he is facing, therefore, are independent of the High Court ruling and we are equally not obliged to make any comment about its ingredients, since it’s before court,” the statement further reads.

Ankunda urged the media and the public to remain patient on the matter and desist from making comments or jumping to conclusions, so as to allow the legal process smoothly take its course as required by the laws of Uganda.

He pledged support in the investigations saying; “the UPDF Institution is founded on principles of the rule of law and does not condone crime within its ranks.”

“The UPDF will cooperate with any institution that wishes to get further clarification on this matter and/or even investigate circumstances surrounding these allegations, with permission of the courts handling the case.”

“The institution has an effective military justice system that protects the rights of all its personnel and never uses torture as a means of investigation.”


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