Son of ISO boss killed lover while mentally ill, says lawyer

Defence lawyer says Brian Bagyenda had been admitted to Butabika hospital and that he escaped from the mental facility and ended up killing Enid Twijukye. They want him set free

MURDER | Perhaps in a bid to upend a potential lengthy murder trial, a lawyer has told the High Court how Brian Bagyenda escaped from National Mental Hospital, Butabika, before he brutally ended the life of his girlfriend in 2017.

Nsubuga Mubiru, seasoned criminal lawyer, told court on Monday of how Bagyenda — who is the son of Internal Security Organization (ISO) director Col Frank Bagyenda Kaka — couldn’t possibly stand trial because they have documentary evidence that he was a patient at Butabika psychiatric hospital.

The  lawyer then dramatically proceeded to hand trial judge Anthony Ojok Ayu a copy of the a letter that he said he had written to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) informing him that Bagyenda was mentally ill and this should be put into consideration into his plea bargain.

Sendo Cleaners

During the last court session, on December 13, Bagyenda, who has already confessed to killing his Enid Twijukye, told Judge Ayu of how he was ready to enter a plea bargain.

Plea bargaining is a negotiated agreement between prosecution and an accused person represented by a lawyer. Once a deal is struck, the accused person is brought before a judge to plead guilty to the charges against in exchange for a lesser sentence.

The judiciary says the initiative promotes reconciliation in society.

‘Talks collapsed’

Joseph Kyomuhendo, the state prosecutor; however, revealed on Monday without divulging the details, that the plea bargaining efforts had not yielded any fruits.

Kyomuhendo insisted subsequently that with the collapse of the talks, the State was ready to proceed with the trial proper and now he wanted a date.

But Mubiru had different ideas.  He said that the reason why they with the plea bargain efforts had failed was because in agreeing which sort punishment should be handed to Brian, the DPP was adamantly refusing to factor in that he was mentally ill by the time he committed the crime.

“We have a report from a psychiatrist and we shall produce it in future,” Mubiru told Justice Ayu, who was asking for evidence.

Before the judge could adjourn the case to January 14, 2019, Kyomuhendo had tried to dispel Mubiru’s allegation that Bagyenda was mentally unwell when he committed the murder.  He insisted that mental assessment done on Bagyenda by Police indicated that he was normal.

But Mubiru dismissed the police report and forms as inadequate and that, apparently, they can’t be used to establish the mental standing of an individual.

The murder

Bagyenda, a pharmacist, is jointly accused with Innocent Bainomugisha, 24, a cleaner, and Vincent Rwahwire, 28, a casual labourer.

According to court documents filed by the DPP on January 4, 2017, at Njobe Road in Nakawa Division, Kampala District, Bagyenda, with his two accomplices, with malice aforethought, murdered Twijukye.

It’s the DPP’s case that: “Bagyenda confessed to killing the deceased (Twijukye). He stated that they had a misunderstanding following suspicion that she was involved with another man. He had her strangled in his bedroom at home (in Luzira) with the help of his co-accused.”

It’s the prosecution’s case that Twijukye left home on January 3, 2017, but did not return. Evas, her sister, later got concerned when the deceased did not return after some time and called different family members to establish her situation but to no avail.

“Investigations were carried out to determine who the last person with the deceased was and her old phone at home showed frequent calls to a one Bagyenda who was known as her boyfriend. Two weeks earlier during the Christmas season, the deceased had travelled to her village in Kazo in Bagyenda’s vehicle, an Ipsum blue in colour,” the documents filed by the DPP partly read.

The evidence further indicates that the deceased’s property, including a brown handbag, and mobile phone, among others, as well as a roll of cello tape and three pillow cases were later found to have been used to tie her hands and legs at the time she was strangled.

The items were recovered at a hotel in Mutungo (Hotel Voyager) where the two (Bayyenda and Twijukye) had checked in Room 6 under an alias John Mujuzi.

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