Thursday June 14, 2018
By Hillary Nsambu
It is alleged that the accused, all of whom are nationals of Somalia, were indicted for aiding or abetting terrorism and conspiracy to commit terrorism.
Al-Shabab suspects guarded by Prison wardens as they set to leave court after appearing in High Court Kampala on June 12, 2018. (Credit: Ronnie Kijjambu)
KAMPALA- Over 30 exhibits including a jacket suspected to be used in explosives have been lined up by the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) that will be used at the trial of eight Al-Shabaab suspects, who are facing charges of terrorism. The court also heard that in 2014, information
filtered into the Ugandan security that there were planned terrorist
attacks by Al-Shabaab and that the explosives suicide jackets had
already been dispatched from Somalia to Uganda by Al-Shabaab members.
Michael Elubu, who presided over a pre-trial session of the men on
Tuesday, directed that the DPP should display the remaining exhibits
that include a motor vehicle and a laptop that were being used by the
suspects in their mission.
Senior State Attorney, Lillian Omara,
yesterday presented to court the DPP’s amended indictment in which it is
alleged that the accused, all of whom are nationals of Somalia, were
indicted for aiding or abetting terrorism and conspiracy to commit
the attorney had read out the indictment, the judge told the suspects
that they were not under obligation to plead to the charges, but they
would do it at the start of the trial.
Seven of the accused men,
save for one, are represented by senior city criminal lawyer MacDosman
Kabega. Only one of them, Abdul Kadir Mohamed Mohamud Sandir, is
represented by another city lawyer Sylvia Namawejje Ebitu.
submitted that the suspects were arrested by security agencies in 2014
and were detained at various police stations including Kireka.
on Monday, the court okayed an application in which the DPP sought
liberty not to disclose the identities of the prosecution witnesses to
the defence side until the right time for the trial came.
both defence counsel submitted that despite that, the prosecution
should provide them all evidence without necessarily disclosing the
names of those witnesses the DPP would like to protect for security
However, after the two sides had agreed to the
facts of the indictment, Kabega sought clarification on what the
prosecution meant by scenes of crime other than scenes where the
suspects were arrested.
He also sought for the defence to look at specific exhibits including
the jacket, the vehicle and the lap-top that the prosecution intended to
use against their clients before the trial began.
submitted and Namawejje concurred to an application for bail pending the
trial of the suspects. “Now that the prosecution has not asked for
expeditious trial of the suspects, we have instructions to apply for
bail for the suspects pending their trial, considering the period of
four years they have spent in incarceration,” the lawyers submitted.
judge ruled that since such an application should not be entertained by
the pre-trial judge other than the chamber judge, he would forward it
to the right judge.