PRA Suspects' Murder Case Flops Again

1175 Views Kabale, Western Region, Uganda
The murder trial of two suspected members of the People's Redemption Army (PRA) failed to take off at the Bushenyi Chief Magistrate's Court today because two of the accused were ill. Joseph Musasizi Kifefe, brother of opposition leader Kizza Besigye and Darious Tweyambe said they were unwell and not able to defend themselves in court. Attempts by the prisons authorities to woo them out of their cells at Nyamushekyera government prison failed. Only Kizza Besigye was allowed access to the prisoners. He said Tweyambe claimed not to have been given access to a doctor and refused to appear in court until he receives a medical check up. It is not clear what is ailing Tweyambe or Kifefe. Kifefe reportedly said that even if he was well, he would not appear in court because the hearings are being held at the prison premises. He said it was illegal for his case to be heard in a court that restricted public access. The Bushenyi Grade One Magistrate, Herbert Birungi, made the decision to hear the murder case at the prisons premises last year. He did not explain his decision, saying only that the court could be convened anywhere as long as a magistrate is present for the hearing. He said it wasn't the first time a case was heard inside the prison. Birungi adjourned the murder to case to April 25th. Joseph Musasizi Kifefe, Darious Tweyambe and Frank Atukunda were remanded in jail on February 1st a day after the High Court in Kampala granted them bail for separate charges of treason. They are accused of murdering John Byarugaba at Imaramagambo Forest in July 2002.