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Arrest Bakaleke on sight, orders court

JUSTICE | Former Kampala South Regional Police Commander Siraje Bakaleke should be arrested to answer for criminal charges, the Anti-Corruption Court has ordered.

The warrant for Bakaleke’s arrest was Friday morning issued by Moses Nabande, the Anti-Corruption Court Grade One Magistrate after the interdicted senior police officer failed to show up in court for the second time.

Last month, Bakaleke moved to block his trial but failed after the High Court’s Civil Division dismissed his interim application on grounds that it’s not based “on any law.”

Sarah Nakachwa, Bakaleke’s lawyer, had taken advantage of the non appearance of the Attorney General’s lawyers — despite being served — to ask Justice Musa Ssekaana to issue an interim order stopping the suspended senior cop’s kidnap trial at the anti-graft court.

The trial of Bakaleke and six other police officers was due to start Friday at the Anti-Corruption Court, which first issued them with criminal summons after a no-show during mention of the case last month.

Contesting Bakaleke’s trial, Nakachwa had invoked the civil procedures telling Judge Ssekaana that he has powers to stop the trial at least in the interim since her client is challenging the procedure used by the Directorate of Public Prosecutions to indict him.

But Judge Ssekaana dismissed Nakchwa’s application on grounds that it was “oral” and accordingly it didn’t have any “standing in law.”

Instead, the judge issued fresh summons to both the attorney and the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to appear before his court next month, asking the aforementioned offices to show more interest in the case.

“The DPP should be served because this application challenges his powers to prosecute,” Ssekaana ruled in an afternoon session in which the applicant, Bakaleke himself, was not present.

“They should show more interest,” the judge added.

The Anti-corruption Court summoned Bakaleke to appear today [Friday] to answer criminal charges related to kidnap of Korean nationals and extortion.

Bakaleke and six other police officers are accused of kidnapping Ha Dongsub, Jang Seungkwon, Park Seunghoon, with the sole purpose of defrauding them.

Bakaleke’s woes are compounded by the fact the DPP accuses him of conspiring with private citizens such as Paul Mugoya Wanyoto, a resident of Kiwatule and Samuel Nabeta Mulowooza the Managing Director of EyePower Eng. Co to defraud Mcklinley Resource company of $415,000.

Bakaleke’s problems have accumulated since Inspector General of Police (IGP), Martins Okoth Ochola, a couple of months ago, suspended him once investigations into allegations of extorting $400,000 (Shs1.4 billion) from two South Korean nationals commenced.

Though former IGP Kale Kayihura had instructed that Bakaleke and his co-conspirators be tried at police disciplinary tribunal, but once Ochola took over, he ordered that they should be criminally charged in the courts of law.

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