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Court to rule on Ssewanyana, Ssegirinya Appeal on June 29th

Crime

Court to rule on Ssewanyana, Ssegirinya Appeal on June 29th

The Court of Appeal has been requested by the State to dismiss an application of bail denial filed by Kawempe North Member of Parliament Muhammad Segirinya and his counterpart from Makindye West, Allan Sewanyana.

Represented by Chief State Attorney Joseph Kyomuhendo and Richard Birivumbuka, the State told a panel of three Justices of the Court of Appeal, Christopher Izama Madrama, Cheborion Barishaki and Eva Luswata that the appeal case is not grounded in law.

The two legislators were first arrested alongside seven others in connection with the machete killings in Lwengo and Masaka. They were later, on 21 September 2021 granted bail, shortly after, the duo was arrested again from the outskirts of Kigo prisons on September 23rd and 26th 2021 and fresh murder charges were preferred against them.  

The MPs applied for bail but on October 25, 2021, Masaka High Court Judge Lawrence Tweyanze denied them bail on grounds that they are accused of a string of Capital offences that all attract a maximum of the death penalty and that the MPs could flee from justice and given their position in society as lawmakers, they would interfere with the trial process.

 Today, the parties appeared before a panel of Court of Appeal justices where they were asked to file written submissions and would be allowed to make brief oral submissions to offer highlights of their submissions.

However, before the lawyers of the accused people could orally submit, the Chief State Attorney Joseph Kyomuhendo asked the court to permit him to raise a preliminary matter of law in which he said that the appeal is not grounded in law since the case is not appealable. 

He made reference to Section 132 of the Trial and Indictment Act which says that an accused person can appeal against a sentence or acquittal as determined by the court.

He, therefore, insisted that since the matter was still under trial, and had not been acquitted or the accused sentenced, the case couldn’t be appealed against.

However, the defence Counsel Erias Lukwago stated section 133 of the same law arguing that the appeal is a matter of special finding because of the manner in which his clients were denied bail and the reason given by the Masaka High Court Judge, which showed that he had exercised his powers with material irregularity. 

Lukwago told Court that if the matter isn’t heard, it would set a precedent that the High Court is the final Court where bail applications can be filed when the case has not been concluded.

The Court of Appeal set next week Wednesday 29th June 2022 to deliver their Judgement on the matter. 

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