Missing court assessors fled Walusimbi’s threats – police

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KAMPALA. A police detective yesterday gave information to the High Court which suggests that the two missing court assessors in the murder case against Baker Walusimbi disappeared after the accused sent them threatening messages to get off the trial.
Detective Inspector of Police Jacob Kiyengo made this revelation in an affidavit to the court registry in Kampala. Walusimbi was expected to be released on bail yesterday following the court’s failure to trace the two assessors Janet Nandudu and John Bosco Higenyi.

The affidavit was an effort by the prosecution to justify why Walusimbi should not be released on bail.
“I also interviewed a person who is believed to have personal information about the said assessors’ whereabouts, who revealed to me that in the course of their official duties, they (assessors) received threatening utterances from the accused (Walusimbi) about their perceived interest in the matter,” the detective states in his affidavit.
The assessors last appeared in 2008 when the case was last heard. But their disappearance came to light last month when the case came up for further hearing after a nine-year lull.
In his affidavit, Mr Kiyengo narrates that he advised the person who gave him the information about the threats to the assessors to open up a case of threatening violence against Walusimbi. Subsequent to that, a file reference KMP CPS SD/17/26/05/2017) was opened.

He further told court that he had investigated Walusimbi’s residence in Kiswa Zone 8 on Hamu Road, Wankoko in Nakawa Division where he intends to stay upon being released on bail.
Kiyengo stated that the said plot was leased out by Walusimbi’s family to a one Deo Matsanga from Mbale and that all his family members have since relocated to an unknown place.
The detective warned that if Walusimbi is released on bail, it will be very difficult to trace him since he currently has no known place of residence.

“It’s only fair in the circumstances of the case that bail be denied to the applicant (Walusimbi) and I am given more time to trace and locate the missing assessors,” Kiyengo submitted.
Presiding judge Yasin Nyanzi was yesterday scheduled to make a ruling on whether to release Walusimbi on bail or not.
At the last appearance in court last month, the judge vowed to release Walusimbi on bail if the court registry failed to trace the two missing assessors.
The one-month ultimatum to find the assessors elapsed yesterday.
However, the trial judge was not present as he was away in another criminal session in Nakasongola District. The court registrar, Mr Emmanuel Baguma, adjourned the case until June 29 and Walusimbi was further remanded.

A senior official from the Directorate of Public Prosecutions, Mr Charles Richard Kaamuli, also filed an affidavit in the High Court yesterday opposing Walusimbi’s application for bail.
Mr Kaamuli stated that Walusimbi’s trial is in advanced stages and releasing him on bail would increase his chances of absconding to escape justice. Walusimbi is accused of killing three women, raping and robbing many more female victims of their personal belongings like mobile phones and other items in 2005.

Charges
Walusimbi faces four counts of robbery and three counts of murder of Moreno Nebulae, a Senior Six student of Makerere College School; and Jacqueline Najjombwe and Maria Katasi, both residents of Najjanankumbi on Entebbe Road.
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