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TOP STORY: Ex-Supreme Court judge warns Uganda govt of international isolation over plot to scrap bail

KAMPALA —Former Supreme Court Judge Professor George Kanyeihamba has said President Museveni’s proposal to scrap bail for capital offenders will isolate Uganda in terms of respect for human rights.According to Kanyeihamba, Uganda is bound by international human rights agreements and protocols on respect for human rights, including bail.

“Museveni’s monographic and despotic crusade is in conflict with international law and norms. It violates the United Nations Chatter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as well as the African Union Charter and African Union Commission protocols on human and people’s right,” he told journalists in Kampala on Monday, 18 October 2021.

“The fulfillment of his desires will definitely necessitate the withdrawal of the Ugandan state and nation from abrogation of all international treaties and agreements which are founded on the respect and observation of human rights,” Kanyeihamba added.

On Friday, Cabinet endorsed criminal justice reforms, among them amendments to the 1995 Constitution and the Police Act, to deny suspects on cabinet offences bail or police bond.

It’s expected that these proposals will be taken to parliament in form of a bill to among others outlaw bail and police bond for capital offenders up to a period of six months.

Kanyeihamba urged Ugandans to support him and sue the government should it go ahead with the proposal to scrap bail.

“Article 3 of the constitution provides that all citizens of Uganda shall have the right and duty at all times to defend this constitution and in particular to resist any person or group of persons seeking to overthrow the established constitutional order. I’m a Uganda citizen, therefore, constitutionally, I’m empowered to petition court and prevent the violation of the Uganda constitution…,” said Kanyeihamba.

Attorney General Kiryowa Kiwanuka on Friday presented a brief on the proposed amendment to Article 23(6) (b) of the Constitution to provide that any person accused of committing an offence triable by both the High Court and subordinate courts, shall not be granted bail until after 180 days or trial commencement, or when the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) discontinues proceedings, whichever is earlier.

The Attorney General also proposed that Article 23(4) (b) and Section 25 of the Police Act be amended by parliament, both of which require a suspect to be released on police bond if not charged in court within 48 hours, to qualify the period as “forty-eight business hours”.

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