Kampala- The murder case against suspected serial killer Baker Walusimbi has been sent back to the High Court registrar to be re-assigned to another judge for a fresh trial in the next criminal session.
The trial judge Yasiin Nyanzi referred the case back to the registry yesterday after the suspect’s lawyer, Mr MacDosman Kabega, failed to show up in court for a third consecutive time.
The visibly irritated Justice Nyanzi said he had intended to resolve the controversy on the case but could not because Walusimbi’s lawyer had missed court thrice.
“…all these lawyers you see present are very busy people. The conduct of your advocate has been wanting. Mr Kabega is in Court of Appeal. But he sends his junior who can’t be in court. I am adjourning the matter to another criminal session because it was a spillover,” Justice Nyanzi told suspect Walusimbi who was in the dock.
“The session adjourned in May. I have stretched myself to the limit to see that justice prevails. But, it is unconstitutional for me to handle your matter without your lawyer present since you have one. So let this matter be fixed in another criminal session before any judge,” the judge added.
The suspect told court that the junior lawyer, Ms Aletha Uwera, whom Mr Kabega had sent to represent him in court, had left a short while earlier because she had forgotten her robe behind. Walusimbi said the junior lawyer informed him and the state prosecutor before leaving court.
Justice Nyanzi was yesterday set to resolve the impasse on whether to release Walusimbi on bail since the court assessors in the trial have mysteriously vanished without trace.
The missing court assessors are Jane Nandudu and John Bosco Higenyi. They mysteriously disappeared after the hearing of Walusimbi’s case had closed in 2008.
On May 25, the Principal Judge Yorokamu Bamwine advised that if the missing court assessors were not traced, a new set of assessors be appointed and the case be tried afresh.
“Given the long time this case has remained pending, I would advise that you be ready with a set of prospective assessors to present to court come the next mention date for a new judge’s selection in accordance with Section 69(2) of the Trial and Indictment Act which allows proceeding to be stayed and new trial held with aid of different assessors where the old ones cannot be found,” Justice Bamwine’s letter stated in part.