A soldier on trial for alleged treachery has told the military court that he was tortured and forced to sign a charge-and-caution statement by his interrogators.
While weeping, Capt Hillman Bosco Aleper told the General Court Martial in Makindye, Kampala, that upon arrest, soldiers led by one Col. Tingira stripped him naked, beat and locked him in a dark room to force him sign a statement. He disowned his charge-and-caution statement saying he signed it under duress.
“Upon arrest from my house, they blind-folded me and took me to several unknown places and sometimes they could suffocate me. In one of the safe houses (a reference to illegal detention cells where state operatives often torture suspects), I was beaten on the joints, they pressed my private parts and pierced me several times,” Capt Aleper told court.
Aleper is one of the 14 suspects accused of plotting to attack Kabamba Army Barracks in Mubende in 2013.
Police detective Felix Turihamwe had earlier testified that he recorded Capt Aleper’s statement. Mr Turihamwe testified that Capt Aleper had confessed to him that he was recruited by a man only identified as Kasibante whom he met in Masaka District in 2012 and that in October 2013 he was given Shs120,000 for facilitation to attend a meeting in Nairobi, Kenya.
However Aleper’s lawyer, Mr Fredrick Ssemwanga, objected to the alleged confession statement.
A charge-and-caution statement is written information recorded from a suspect upon arrest and is intended to be used during the trial.
Capt Aleper is jointly charged with senior officer, Lt Col Philip Frank Eguma, formerly attached to the Armoured Warfare Training School in Mubende District, Lt Ronald Waibi Mwavu, a junior officer formerly at the army’s 4th Division and Pte Kenneth Sekajja, formerly of Air Defence in Nakasongola District.
Others are: Francis Kiwanuka, Marvin Ssemwogerere Mulongo, Nasim Namuzimule, Rtd Capt John Bosco Rutwama, Ali Mukiibi (retired air force pilot), Lumala Salongo, Francis Kaheru Kiwanuka, Solomon Matovu (all businessmen), Francis Kiwanuka, Herbert Biyimbwa, Peter Kibirige (electrician) and casual worker Patrick Kibuuka.
The suspects have been on remand since 2014. The court chairman, Lt Gen Andrew Gutti, adjourned the case to March 22 to continue with Capt Aleper’s submissions.
It is alleged that between February and May 2014, in various places in Kampala, Masaka, Wakiso, Luweero districts and Nairobi in Kenya, the accused and others still at large refused to disclose vital information about subversive activities or aided soldiers to attack the Armoured Warfare Training School in Mubende.