The Chief Magistrate’s Court in Masaka yesterday granted bail to majority of National Unity Platform (NUP) members and private guards of presidential candidate, Mr Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine who were arrested in Kalangala District last week.
A total of 126 suspects appeared before both Masaka Chief Magistrate, Mr Charles Yeteisi and Grade One Magistrate, Ms Grace Wakholi at different intervals in two separate court rooms. The court administration indicated that this was to cut time and the bulk of work for one court official.
Among the suspects is Bobi Wine’s singing partner, Ali Bukeni alias Nubian Li and Mr Eddy Ssebufu aka Eddie Mutwe (Bobi Wine’s private guard).
Yeteisi heard that Eddie Mutwe , Nubian Li and others on December 31 ,2020 at Kibale Village, Buyoga Sub County, Kalangala District incited violence and also did a negligent act likely to spread an infectious disease .
However, the accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The defence lawyers led by Majeran Kazibwe asked the court to grant the suspects bail since they have spent over five days in police custody and many had been tortured.
The presiding magistrate then asked the accused persons to prove to court the allegations of torture and several displayed physical injuries on their bodies. Some of them were seen limping in court.
State prosecutor did not object to the bail application but asked the court to set stringent conditions before granting them bail.
“I have heard the submissions of the defence lawyers and I have examined the sureties of some of the accused persons and they are not substantial. However, it is in the observation of this court that some of the suspects were tortured while in cells and ought to be granted bail,” Mr Yeteisi.
Mr Yeteise granted majority of the suspects a cash bail of Shs100, 000 and each of the sureties were bonded Shs5 million non-cash.
Some of the suspects failed to secure court bail because of lack of substantial sureties and additional charges slapped against them. They include Eddie Mutwe, Bashir Mukisa, Nelson Ndyasima, Mutumba sam, Maweje Mwanje, Mutumba Abdallah, Okanya Sam. They were remanded until January 19.
Eddie Mutwe, Stanley Kafuko, Hassan Katumba and Lukeman Kampala who were slapped with additional six charges of malicious damage to property and assault of police officers on duty, among others were also not given bail because the time for court sitting had elapsed. They were also remanded until January 19.
NUP lawyer, Mr Benjamin Katana told this reporter that time had caught up with them to finalise the paper work of those that had been granted bail.
“We shall have to go back tomorrow (today) and process the paperwork so that they can be released. Those who have not been granted bail, we shall apply for their production into court and then apply for bail afresh,” Mr Katana said yesterday.
However, their joy was short lived as the bail money was paid late in the bank and by suspects were still in court.
The case was adjourned to January 19 when the suspects are expected to reappear in court for further hearing of the case .