Court has denied to grant bail to the eight detained directors of daily tabloid ‘Red Pepper’ and instead sent them to Luzira prison on remand.
Buganda Road court chief magistrate James Mawanda Eremye on Monday remanded the 8 people including 5 Red directora and 3 journalists to Luzira until Tuesday next week (December 5).
The 8 who are accused offensive communication, defamation and publishing information prejudicial to security were arraigned in court for the first time since their arrest on Tuesday last week.
The decision to send them on remand followed the Acting state Prosecutor Abdul Salam Waiswa’s submissions who asked court for an adjournment so that he may get ample time to reply to the accused persons bail application.
The accused had presented a number of documents and many sureties.
The eight accused through their lawyers Geoffrey Kandeebe and Max Mutabingwa presented two or more sureties each asking court to release them on a non cash bail.
The defendants told court that they have been detained in Nalufenya, Jinja for almost seven days without being produced in any courts of law which is a violation of the accused person’s constitutional rights.
“Your worship seven days detention in Nalufenya which we don’t know whether it’s a barracks or a Police station is not a joke,” Mutabingwa submitted.
He informed court that the accused are still presumed innocent, have substantial sureties, have fixed places of abode and thus court should release them on bail.
However, in response to this, the state prosecutor Abdul Salaam Waiswa sought for time to reply the “lengthy submissions” as well as authenticate the validity of documents presented.
The defense counsels have however objected to this accusing the prosecution of non seriousness of the state which presented the
accused in court without finalizing investigations.
“My lord this is a court of justice, basing on the Case of Besigye VS Uganda the learned judges pointed out that bail should not be denied because the state wants or it should not be denied basing on mechanical conditions,” Mutabingwa submitted.
He informed court that his request was based on the law thereby it will be in terms of justice for court to grant him bail.
The magistrate who is scheduled to be away for a while adjourned the matter until next week so that the prosecution side may have enough time to peruse the bunch of documents presented.
Friends and relatives of the acussed persons who attended court were in a state of misery as they had anticipated that the accused would secure bail.