MPs Ssegirinya, Ssewanyana charged with terrorism

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By Stephen M Gonzaga,

PARROTS UG|COURTS:

Detained opposition members if parliament; Muhammad Ssegirinya and Allan Ssewanyana have been slapped with fresh charges of terrorism.

The duo were on Wednesday appearing before Masaka grade one magistrate court presided over by Grace Wakoli, on a virtual court.

They were charged with new charges of terrorism and aiding and abetting terrorism together with four other co-accused persons.

The senior resident state attorney, Richard Birivumbuka told court that the ‘‘state had amended the charge sheet of the group adding two more charges.’’

Court heard that ‘‘the group and others still at large in the period of January to August,2021 took part in killing people in Masaka region and other parts of the country.’’

State prosecutor Birivumbuka told court that inquiry into the case is still ongoing, asking court to adjourn the matter.

The new charges mean that Ssegirinya, Ssewanyana and others still at large now face up to six charges including three of murder and one of attempted murder in addition to the two fresh counts.

The defense lawyer, Shamimu Malende told court that the state is free to add all charges it wishes asking the prosecutor to expedite the inquiry into the matter so as the true killers are known.

“Continued holding of these people in prison denies the people of their constituencies a right to representation in parliament. Kawempe North MP, Ssegirinya and the Makindye West legislator, Allan Ssewanyana have so far missed 6 sittings and they also have health conditions which can’t be handled in prison,’’ Malende said.

The defense lawyer has also asked court to grant their clients access to specialised treatment but court has ordered the legislators to present the issue of their illness to prison authorities as the state completes investigations.

The case has been adjourned to September 29. The group is expected to be sent to high court for hearing of their case after investigations are concluded.

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