Opposition politician Dr Kizza Besigye yesterday rescinded his earlier vow and returned to Nakawa Chief Magistrate’s Court for mention of his treason case.
However, this time round, his appearance was also part of his bail reporting terms in the same case.
On January 25 when he last appeared at the Nakawa court for mention of the treason case, Dr Besigye vowed not to return to the court because he was tired of appearing endlessly without the prosecution completing investigations for him to stand trial in the High Court, seven months after he was charged.
He said he would only return to Nakawa court as a prisoner. He made this remark with knowledge that he could be arrested for defying court orders to reappear for mention of his case.
However on February 22, the head of the High Court Criminal Division, Justice John Wilson Kwesiga, modified Dr Besigye’s bail reporting terms upon the latter’s request. Dr Besigye will now return to Nakawa court on April 28 for mention of his treason case and extension of his bail.
Following this modification, Dr Besigye yesterday returned to Nakawa court presided over by Grade One Magistrate Noah Sajjabi for both mention of his treason case and bail compliance. He was accompanied by his lawyer Ernest Kalibbala.
“By consent it was agreed that effective today, the accused (Dr Besigye) will report before this court for both purposes of mention and bail extension,” counsel Kalibbala submitted. “It’s my prayer, your worship, that court be pleased to extend the bail and in addition harmonize the mention date to coincide with bail extension so that the accused reports on a monthly basis,” he added.
Dr Besigye had been scheduled to appear before the High Court Criminal Division yesterday for extension of his bail. The modification was aimed at harmonizing Dr Besigye’s bail extension terms and the routine mention of his treason case.
The two court processes will now be done on one day and in one court. Previously Dr Besigye would report to Nakawa court for mention of his treason case and go to the High Court, about 6km away, on another day to answer his bail terms, a scenario he said was tedious and straining.
The four-time presidential candidate has repeatedly wondered what more evidence the State is still looking for, about eight months since he was charged with treason, in order to incriminate him, yet he admitted to having announced that he won the February 18, 2016 general elections.
Dr Besigye is accused of swearing in himself as President of Uganda following last year’s elections, which he claims he won by 52 per cent.