Why Court Convicted Kampala Bomb Suspects, Released 5 Others

From left to right,Hassan Agade,Idris Magondu,Suleiman Mbuthia,Issa Luyima,Muhammad Hamid and Haruna Luyima(behind seat) in court on Thursday.(PHOTO:Kenneth Kazibwe/Chimpreports)

The High Court in Kampala on Thursday afternoon in a landmark judgment convicted 8 people suspected of having masterminded the July 2010 Lugogo twin blasts that killed over 70 people who were watching World Cup finals.

The trial judge  of the case that had dragged on for 6 years , symptoms Alphonse Owiny-Dollo ruled that Issa Luyima, remedy Husssein Hassan Agade, Idris Magondu, Hassan Haruna Luyima, Muhammad Ali Muhammad, Habib Njoroge Seleman Hijjar Nyamandondo and Muzafaru Luyima had been found guilty of terrorism, murder ,attempted murder and being an accessory to terrorism.

In a 6 hour judgment, Owiny-Dollo said that evidence by the prosecution side had proved beyond reasonable doubt that the accused had planned and orchestrated the mission to bomb Uganda killing 76 people who were watching football at Lugogo rugby grounds and Ethiopian village restaurant in Kabalagala .

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“I find the 8 people guilty of the charges and convict them as charged,” the trial judge ruled.

He explained that evidence adduced indicated that they had got special training in Somalia for the mission, returned to Uganda with explosives , identified targets and then assembled the explosives before detonating them on the fateful day ,July 11,2010 whereas another explosive failed to go off at Makindye house .

“Each of them was actively involved in the mission at different levels and times. It does not matter that they did not carry it out at the same time but had a consensus on what they desired to do,” Owiny-Dollo said.

“They all played a part in planning, surveillance, delivery of explosives and their detonation which clearly manifested that they were thorough and determined in carrying out the mission.”

The noted that evidence brought indicated that after being trained, they were determined to punish Uganda for her deployment in Somalia under the AMISOM adding that they now hatched plans on how to orchestrate their mission.

According to the judge, they targeted places of vulnerability where many people could be targeted so as to inflict pain adding that these placed the explosives in the middle of the public places well aware that death was inevitable in case of detonation.

“A deliberate plan was hatched to punish Uganda for deployment in Somalia and evidence on record shows the perpetuators must have known the consequences of their act.”

He said that in a bid not to be detected and their conversations be eavesdropped by security agencies, they used SMS to communicate to each other.

Issa Luyima , the Plan Mastermind
The judge accused Issa Luyima of being the man behind all these plans to bomb Uganda adding that the mission had been planned right from Somalia where Luyima had received special training.

The judge said Luyima recruited his own brothers and others into the mission adding that he was able to rent a house in Namasuba that acted as a safe house for those who participated in the mission.

“He booked a room at Naigara hotel in the names of Huku Moses where the transporter of the explosives slept. He was also in charge of the house in Namasuba where the explosives where assembled before the mission,” the judge said.

“A day to the mission, he fled the country to Mombasa which was an indication that it was in regards to the impending blast. It is strong circumstantial evidence that he was part of the Kampala bombings.”

“I have found overwhelming evidence against Issa Luyima and thereby convict him as charged.”

5 Acquitted
The trial judge however set free Omar Awadh Omar, Suleiman Mbuthia, Muhammad Hamid Muhammad, Dr.Ismael Kalule and Abubaker Batemyeto whom he said had not evidence on record pinning them .

He said that these were not free to return home for there were no charges against them in relation to the July 2010 Kampala twin blasts.

The judge however set tomorrow Friday as the day to give his sentences to the convicts

In an interview with Chimpreports, the defence lawyer Caleb Alaka said the judgment was fair adding that he would now seek for further instructions from the convicted suspects.

He howeve,r expressed dismay over failure by the prison authorities to release those acquitted at court but rather decided to return them to Luzira.

“I don’t want to speculate on why they were taken back to Luzira because according to the law, once acquitted by court and given release order, they can’t be admitted to prison facility,” Alaka noted.

“If they are not released, then it will be unconstitutional and very wrong. It has to be condemned.”


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