Court Acquits Zaake of charges of escape from lawful custody - National | NTV

Court Acquits Zaake of charges of escape from lawful custody

By FELIX WAROM OKELLO

Friday June 21, 2019

Mityana Municipality MP, Francis Zaake 

Mityana Municipality MP Francis Zaake was Friday acquitted of charges of escape from lawful custody.


In his ruling, Arua Grade One Magistrate, Mr Swaleh Asiku, said: "The fact that the police left the accused (Zaake) at the hospital unguarded, meant that he was not a suspect. I now acquit the accused because he has no case to answer."


The Magistrate said by the virtue of the SFC dumping Zaake atArua Central Police station without identifying themselves indicated that they knew what they did (torture) was wrong.
Mr Zaake was on February 22 transferred from Kampala to Arua Court and charged with escaping from lawful custody before he was released on bail of Shs 50 million not cash.


He was then driven to Gulu High Court on the same day and charged with treason before he was remanded to prison.


He would, however, later be released on bail.


Mr Zaake’s lawyer, Mr Medard Segona after the acquittal on Friday told journalists outside court that they will pursue the treason case and win it too.

He said this was a case of witch-hunt of the opposition politicians.

"Today marks just a portion of ending this process. Zaake and others are being persecuted in Gulu. Uganda is one of the few states that could conspire against its citizens," he said.


He added that: "In fact we do not have a government, we simply have a group of men ruling a country in conspiracy both to defraud, maim and kill. Our client's right is not exhausted because there is a limit to which one can be used to further fraudulent scheme. The struggle is just beginning."


Mr Zaake and Kyaddondo East Member of Parliament, Mr Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine, were among the 33 suspects arrested in Arua on allegations of stoning President Museveni’s convoy on August 13, during the Arua Municipality by-election campaigns.
The suspects were tortured in detention.


Mr Kyagulanyi and Mr Zaake were advised to seek specialised treatment abroad.

However, the two were blocked from leaving the country and subsequently arrested at Entebbe Airport.


They were taken to Kiruddu Hospital and placed under the guard of Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence.


Mr Kyagulanyi was later cleared by the medical board and police to travel to the US for treatment but Mr Zaake wasn’t cleared.


Mr Zaake was also later cleared to travel abroad for medical attention before police accused him of escaping from their custody.