Crime & Investigation

Lawyers: Evidence Against Lugogo Terror Suspects ‘Hearsay’

The Lugogo terror suspects consult with their lawyers(in black robes) during a recent hearing

Three people have been killed and three others injured by an army officer in Soroti following a shootout that was triggered by suspected robbery.

The man identified as Odong Christopher, and a Sergeant in the Air Defense’s 35th Battalion killed the 3 people after suspecting that he had been robbed of his money and phone. He is said to be born in Oyam district.

Odong is said to have been robbed by a prostitute only known as Hadijja while at a local bar known as Shooters.

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He reportedly rushed to his home, picked a rifle and shot a lady that roasts chicken in front of the bar along with two other men dead.

Three other men who were inside the bar were also injured in the gun fire and were rushed to Soroti Regional Referral hospital where they are getting treatment. Hadijja had disappeared by the time Odong returned to the bar.

A source in the Soroti told Chimpreports that the incident occurred on Saturday morning at around 1:45 am at Jumabai road in soroti municipality. He said that Police arrived at the crime scene in time and cordoned the scene.

Our source said that the soldier has since fled and is still at large.
Odong is said to have been in possession of 4 magazines (120 rounds of ammunition).

Bodies of the dead are currently at the Soroti Municipal mortuary awaiting postmortem and identification.

Shooters bar is a popular in Soroti known for prostitutes who are said to sneak into the town from as far as Lira and Mbale to make money.
Lawyers representing 13 suspects in the July 2010 Lugogo twin bombings have asked court to dismiss charges and acquit three of their clients for the prosecution evidence tabled against them is “mere imagination and falsehoods.”

In their summary of the case in response to the evidence tabled against their clients by the prosecution side, sick the defence team led by Caleb Alaka, about it Evans Ocheng and Annet Badda said the evidence is based on lies and imaginations which the court cannot use.

The defence lawyers said that the 76 charges of murder, 5 of attempted murder, terrorism and belonging to a terrorist group for each of the 3 suspects including Dr. Ismail Kalule, Abubaker Batematoy and Omar Awad Omar are baseless.

They said the Director of Public Prosecutions had on three occasions arrested, acquitted  and rearrested Dr Kalule which they insisted showed that the charges were fabricated in a bid to pin an innocent person who knew nothing about the Lugogo twin blasts.

“There is no evidence to the effect that Dr Kalule manufactured, transported or detonated explosives and the testimonies of both Idris Nsubuga and Muhamood Mugisha talk about him after the blasts had happened,” lead defence lawyer Alaka said on Friday afternoon.

In their testimonies former Al Shabaab members and orchestrators of the twins and now used as state witness, Nsubuga and Mugisha told court that Dr Kalule tried to secure bail for Mugisha who had been arrested before the blasts for being in possession of a fake Ugandan passport.

The defence lawyers told court that the suspect was not mentioned anywhere as being part of the plans to  bomb Uganda adding it was just speculation by the prosecutors, urging the trial judge to acquit him.

Omar Awad Omar

Described as the boss and financer of the whole operation to bomb Kampala, the prosecution earlier said Omar Awad Omar had on the fateful day travelled to Uganda to oversee the mission.

However in reply, the defence lawyers said that no police statement had been recorded to the effect of the allegations adding that there were no efforts intended to have his accounts checked to verify the charge of funding the mission.

“No evidence of request from the Ugandan government to their British counterparts was shown to the effect of evidence that Omar Awad Omar got money from someone in the UK before distributing it for the mission,” the lawyers said.

“What was brought is not evidence but to me is hearsay and inadmissible in courts of law.”

The lawyers insisted there was no proof the money he got was used to fund terrorism activities as alleged by the prosecutors, adding there is no evidence to show that Omar Awad Omar aided or was part of the mission to bomb Kampala.

Abubaker Batematoy

The defence lawyers said that being a mechanic, the prosecutors tried to link Batematoy to being part of the planners of the mission which they said is not supported by any form of evidence.

They said evidence produced showed no way the suspect was involved in planning, transportation or use of mechanical knowledge in the commission of the offence adding that  court should dismiss cases against him .

“Travelling to Uganda during the time of the blasts does not mean he was her to oversee the mission or anything similar to that. He has children and wife here and frequently moved in and out of the country for work related issues,” Evan Ochieng told court.

“We pray court acquits him of all the charges brought against him because they are not backed by evidence.”

The trial judge Alphonse Owiny- Dollo however adjourned the case to Monday, March, 8.


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