The State Attorney in the murder case against MPs Allan Ssewanyana and Muhammad Ssegirinya has withdrawn three affidavits of prosecution witnesses.
The State Attorney, Richard Birivumbuka, said the affidavits withdrawn were sworn by Thomas Jatiko, Jennifer Amumpaire and Detective SP Innocent Mubangizi, tendered in on January 23, 2023.
Birivumbuka told Masaka high court presided over by Justice Lawrence Tweyanze on Monday, 13 February 2023, that the DPP directed prosecution not to object to their bail application. The DPP said prosecution should simply make their submissions on bail terms.
The bail application hearing was still underway by press time.
This comes days after the Office of the Director of the Public Prosecutions (DPP), said its ready to prosecute the case of the two remanded Members of Parliament.
The DPP’s office said that since they have already committed the legislators to the High Court, it means that they are ready to present evidence once the courts ask them to do so.
“The Office of the DPP is ready to prosecute the two MPs’ cases. Once the High Court fixes the case for hearing, witnesses shall be summoned and led by the Prosecution,” Ms Jacquelyn Okui, the spokesperson of the DPP said on Thursday last week.
Adding: “The accused’s bail applications in Masaka High Court are scheduled to be entertained by the court on 13th, 14th and 15th of February and the office is also ready to proceed with the same.”
During the opening of the new law year 2023 in Kampala last Friday, Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo, cautioned both prosecution and defense against employing delay tactics once the trial of the MPs starts soon in this quarter.
“I want to announce that in this quarter, the trial of the Members of Parliament will begin. Let me again be clear, let me say this to the State, you are the one who brought these accused persons to court, you made allegations against them and the law says they are innocent until proven guilty. When the trial begins and it will be soon, there will be no dilly-dallying, there will be no games,” he said.
The Chief Justice went on and warned that if the State is not ready to try the MPs, then the trial judge has the right to dismiss the case against them.
The duo who have been on remand for over a year, are accused of being behind the wave of murders by machete-wielding gangs in Masaka sub-region about two years ago.
Masaka High Court has since set next week to commence hearing of the bail application of the two legislators.
This is after several of their earlier attempts to be released on bail were frustrated including being rearrested while they left prison.