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Woman MP stalker Isiko sent back to Luzira, to face retrial

High Court appeal quashes conviction and two-year sentence but sends Isiko back to Luzira pending retrial by Buganda Road Court

COURT | Brian Isiko will spent at least another 48 hours in Luzira Prison as he awaits retrial for the love messages he repeatedly sent a woman legislator.

High Court Criminal Division judge Jane Frances Abodo on Thursday handed the ‘stalker’ from Jinja a reprieve by quashing his conviction but at the same time dashed his hope when he sent him back to Luzira to await retrial before Buganda Road Court.

Justice Abodo agreed to quash the two-year prison sentence handed to Isiko by Gladys Kamasanyu, the Buganda Road Court Grade One Magistrate, earlier this year, having found him guilty of repeatedly sending love messages to Kabarole Woman MP Sylvia Rwabwogo — an act which was construed as cyber harassment and offensive communication.

Abodo agreed with Isiko’s lawyer Ramadan Waiswa that Kamasanyu misconstrued Isiko’s apology to Rwabwogo into a plea of guilty.

Waiswa during submissions last month quoted verbatim what Isiko told Kamasanyu: “Everything she [Rwabwogo] said is correct. I wanted her to become a personal friend. I ask for forgiveness. I also wanted her to give me ideas on how to run my poultry project.

“I did not have any bad intention. In fact, that is why I agreed to meet her so that we could talk.”

The errors

Citing a litany of legal authorities and laws guided that if an accused wants to change their plea, the court must explain to them in a language they understand best every detail of the charge and the ramifications of pleading guilty.

Kamasanyu did not follow these legal underpinnings and consequently Justice Abodo had no option but to set aside both the conviction and sentence.

“The abuse of procedure goes to the root of the case and it affects the accused right to fair hearing,” she said, putting a smile on the face of Isiko.

But that smile did not last as Abodo said she was sending the file back to Buganda Road Court and clarified that the case shouldn’t be handled by Kamasanyu this time round.

Since Isiko has been on bail, Abodo following her judgment noted that it had now lapsed. Isiko, a student of YMCA College of Business Studies, who was accompanied to the appeal court by his mother and friends, had to go back to Luzira prison where he had spent two months after Kamasanyu had convicted him.

Abodo ordered prison authorities to produce him at Buganda Road Court within the next 48 hours
for the retrial.

‘It’s victory but more to come’

Reacting to the judgment Waiswa counted this judgment as some sort of victory and promised more to come.

“Though my client is going back to Luzira,” Waiswa from Katuntu and company advocates said, “We have won here and we shall win again at Buganda Road.”

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