July 11th Bomber To Serve 25 Years In Jail

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In short
Two July 11th bomb convicts have been sent to jail after they pleaded guilty to involvement in the 2010 Kampala blasts that killed at least 76 people.

Two July 11th bomb convicts have been sent to jail after they pleaded guilty to involvement in the 2010 Kampala blasts that killed at least 76 people.
 
Edris Nsubuga, who had admitted to planting the explosives at Kyadondo Rugby grounds, was sentenced to 25 years in prison, while Muhamoud Mugisha got five years for conspiracy. Kyadondo is one of the two venues, including the Ethiopian Restaurant, where the attackers targeted football fans watching a 2010 world cup final match.

Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo delivered the ruling saying he hopes that both convicts use the custodial sentence to reform.

Owiny-Dollo convicted Nsubuga on his own plea of guilt. The judge said as a person of his education and obvious exposure, Nsubuga knew that he could have reported the matter to police or at the very least avoided his manipulators. But he did neither. Besides, the job offer in Rwanda was an indication that Nsubuga was not altogether hopeless, having been experiencing financial problems and domestic hardships.
 
The prosecution led by state attorney, Joan Kagezi had asked presiding judge, Alfonse Owiny Dollo not to give the convicts maximum punishments because they had pleaded guilty.

The judge noted that by his own admission, Nsubuga could not gather the courage to blow himself up, yet had no qualm in blowing up other humans with whom he and his cohorts had no quarrel.
 
Earlier this week, Nsubuga pleaded guilty to three counts of terrorism, including the unlawful delivery of explosives and then detonating them. But he added that he acted out of fear after his al-shabab masters threatened to behead him if he did not act as instructed.
Mugisha on the other hand admitted to conspiracy to commit acts of terrorism.

The judge observed that Nsubuga was mindless of the possibility that the victims of his deeds could have included his own relatives. None of these things crossed his clear mind and callously went ahead to execute the heinous plan regardless.

Owiny Dollo rejected an attempt by Nsubuga to drag Islam to his participation in the despicable acts. He noted that Islam, which derives its greatness from its purpose of submitting to the will of Allah, is one of the great religions of the world. It has immensely contributed to world civilization and spiritual healing.

Despite the indelible mark the convict left in the hearts of many inconsolable families, the judge hearkened to Nsubuga’s expression of regret. He considered it genuine and accordingly spared him the heaviest sentence of death.

Owiny-Dollo however considered a custodial sentence that is reflective of the gravity of offence in the present circumstances. He noted that given the appropriate time and conducive environment, Nsubuga can be useful to himself and the society he lives in large.

As for Muhamood Mugisha, the judge ruled that he shall be under police supervision for another five years after his jail term. The judge considered his life, education, age and owning up to his involvement in the activities for which he was charged.

He noted that Mugisha was a victim of manipulation in the circumstance but insisted that court should send out a clear signal to all acts of criminality.

Justice Owiny Dollo said terrorism especially in the manner envisaged in the conspiracy for which Mugisha was nipped, has dangerous aspects of occasioning senseless and indiscriminate harm to society. Mugisha was a family man and were he to blow himself up as was intended, he would have subjected his family to permanent loss and grief.

The judge observed that both the convicts have the right to appeal against the sentence.

The two had jointly been charged with 12 other suspects but the twelve denied the charges and remain on trial. Early this week, five suspects were set free after the state dropped charges against them. These included the Kenyan human rights activist, Ali Amin Kimathi, who later said his government masterminded his arrest in Uganda. The suspects had been on remand since their arrest in August 2010.

 

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