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Bakaleke: Court orders suspended Police boss to face trial

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CORRUPTION | Issuing a temporary injunction stopping the trial of Former Kampala South Regional Police Commander, Siraje Bakaleke’s wouldn’t be in“public interest” and would amount to the use of “judicial process to perpetuate a wrong,” High Court Judge Musa Ssekaana has ruled.

Justice Ssekaana’s pronouncements stem from an application Bakaleke filed in the High Court seeking to temporarily block his trial at the Anti-Corruption Court where he faces kidnap and extortion charges.

Bakaleke, who is at the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police, is currently on the run after the anti-graft court ordered for his arrest having defied court summons issued in August.

His lawyers had sought civil court’s intervention, asking it to block his impending trial on grounds that the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) is abusing its discretion to press charges contrary to “public interest,and administration of justice.”

Though the Attorney General, who is listed as the respondent, didn’t bother to file written submissions as per the request of Justice Ssekaana, it didn’t stop Bakaleke from losing this application.

In his analysis of the case, Justice Ssekaana trashed Bakaleke’s application saying his legal team had failed to establish that he had prima facie case in his main case, which would have warranted him to
issue the injunction, the police officers badly needed.

According to Ssekaana, Bakaleke, without going into the merits of his main case ought to have showed that on face of it that their material facts to be tried by his court.

“The applicant has not availed any evidence to support his case,” Justice Ssekaana ruled. “He only says that the DPP charged him without any scintilla of evidence.”

Earlier, Ssekaana had warned that the move by Bakeleke to stop his prosecution by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) would be in contravention of Article 120 (3) (b) of the Constitution.

The article stipulates that “The functions of the Director of Public Prosecutions are the following— to direct the police to investigate any information of a criminal nature and to report to him or her expeditiously; to institute criminal proceedings against any person or authority in any court with competent jurisdiction other than a court martial.”

In his main application, which is yet to be heard, Bakaleke takes advantage of the unusual move by the DPP Mike Chibita to consent to the charge sheet leaving the drafting to police.

He contends that such a move is prejudicing him since the DPP acted irrationally to consent to the charges yet there is no what he calls “scintilla of evidence” to try him.

“That I’m squarely aware that the DPP is not supposed to be directed when exercising his discretion on whether to prosecute or not but the law does not give a license for being reckless under the guise of “after all it is courts duty to exonerate the accused upon hearing.”

Bakaleke’s claims

Bakaleke says in his affidavit in support of the his application of judicial review, “That the right to prosecute and not to be directed or controlled by any authority is not absolute and must be interpreted
alongside the constitutional mandate of the office of the DPP to have regard to the public interest, the interest of the administration of justice and the need to prevent abuse of legal process.”

Bakaleke’s troubles, according to the DPP, stem from kidnap of three South Korean nationals, Ha Dongsub, Jang Seungkwon, Park Seunghoon, with the sole purpose of defrauding them but so far he has refused to go before Grade One Magistrate Moses Nabende who has now issued warrant of arrest for him.

it’s said by the state that Bakaleke together with police officers: Munezero Robert, Innocent Nuwagaba, Robert Asiimwe, Junior Amanya and Babu Gastavas and Kenneth Zirintusa who are also part of the charge sheet, between February 4 and 11, 2018 in Kampala caused the kidnap of Dongsub, Seungkwon, and Seunghoon with intent to cause them to be secretly and wrongly confined.

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