Kampala. Court assessors at the International Crimes Division of the High Court have advised court to acquit Muslim clerics of all charges.
The 14 men including former Tabliq leader Yunus Kamoga are facing several charges including murder and terrorism.
The assessors, whose opinion was read out by Mr. Robert Lubega Sseguya, told court on Tuesday July 11,2017 that prosecution failed to prove their case beyond reasonable doubt that the charges of terrorism, two counts of murdering sheikhs; Mustafa Bahiga and Ibrahim Hassan Kirya and the charge of attempted murder were committed by the suspects.
“We therefore advise court that all the accused persons be acquitted due to lack of sufficient evidence,” Mr. Lubega advised court. Other court assessors were; Mr. Ahmed Dumba and Ms. Judith Muhairwe.
Following that opinion, the lead Judge Hon. Justice Ezekiel Muhanguzi set August 11, 2017 for court to deliver it’s Judgement.
What Assessors Do
Its a legal requirement in criminal trials that before the court delivers its final verdict, the Judge in that case sums up the entire evidence on record for the appointed Assessors who are simple lay people got from the public with no legal training.
These Assessors follow the trial and then advise the court, in their opinion on whether to convict or acquit the accused person but the judge may depart from that opinion, giving his or her reasons as to why.