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Besigye's treason trial will be held in a court not prison, court rules

Besigye's treason trial will be held in a court not prison, court rules

Uganda

Ugandan opposition leader Kizza Besigye’s treason trial will go ahead in a court and not at the maximum security prison, a court in Kampala has ruled.

The prosecution in the trial prayed the court for the trial to be moved to the Luzira maximum security prison in Kampala citing security concerns.

But the court decided otherwise.

Our colleagues, who we work with, some are arrested and tortured as they leave this court. So it would indeed appear that the intention of the police, my persecutors, is to try and have me in a court where they are the only attendees.

“The court decided that Besigye will continue to be tried by the court in which he appeared,” a judicial spokesman, Solomon Muyita told the AFP news agency.

The veteran opposition leader made a brief appearance before the court on Wednesday during which he decried the attempts by the prosecution to have him tried away from public view.

“Our colleagues, who we work with, some are arrested and tortured as they leave this court. So it would indeed appear that the intention of the police, my persecutors, is to try and have me in a court where they are the only attendees,” Besigye said.

Besigye who is challenging the victory of president Yoweri Museveni was on May 11 arrested after swearing himself in as president of Uganda.

He was subsequently charged with treason and transfered to the country’s maximum security prison in the capital Kampala.

He is expected to reappear before the court on June 29.

As if to confirm the words Besigye had uttered earlier in court, police officers in riot gear arrested some some of his supporters.

It was not clear what offence they had committed.

The treason charge in Uganda usually comes with a death penalty but the country has not carried out any executions for years.

Besigye was charged with treason in 2005 but the charges against him were eventually dropped.

AFP
Photo Credit: @ntvuganda