Jailed former ADF leader Jamil Mukulu wants bail after 5 years in prison

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Jamilu Mukulu at High Court after committal in 2019; Courtesy Photo

Jailed former ADF leader Jamilu Mukulu has applied for court bail before the International Crimes Division of the High Court.

Mukulu who has been on remand at Luzira prison for five years now, wants to be temporarily released pending his trial on charges of terrorism, murder, aggravated robbery and belonging to a terrorism organisation -ADF.

Through the law firm, Wameli and Company Advocates, Mukulu’s application was received on Monday by the Court’s Registrar Beatrice Stella Atingu who will liaise with the Division head Justice David Wangutsi and decide which date to have it heard.

Mukulu is also appealing against the confirmation of the charges against him and he filed for compensation for torture while in detention in Nalufenya.

He claims the confirmation of charges against him is in contravention of the extradition procedure.

In his application, Mukulu says he is 56 years of advanced age and there is a high likelihood of delay of his trial yet he has substantial sureties like his 74 year old Biological Mother Nakiyemba Aisha of Ntooke LC1 Bukolooto Parish in Kayunga District.

He also presented his Sisters, a Son -Musa Ddumba and a brother in Law Haji Juma Lubega of Kanisa Zone in Makindye Division where he intends to stay if his application is considered.

Mukulu further argues that despite having been committed and 19 charges confirmed for his trial, he is still presumed innocent until proved guilty.

He also pleads that since all his travel documents are in the custody of the state, he posses no flight risk once admitted on bail.

His case:

In September 2019, the International Crimes Division of High court committed Jamil Mukulu and 37 others for trial on terror-related charges. The charges were later confirmed and trial awaits constitution of a panel of the 3 judges.

According to the indictment before court, between 2011 and 2014, the accused persons under the command of Mukulu acquired firearms and training in neighboring countries and funding for economic, social, political and religious reasons.

Court documents show that the Directorate of Public Prosecutions will at the trial stage tender in court evidence in form of literature, statements made by the accused at various police stations, explosives, ammunition and guns among others to pin the suspects on the charges.

Court also heard that the accused persons raided Muslim communities most especially those that they disagreed with on particular matters, such as where to face while conducting prayers.

Some of the Muslim leaders purportedly killed by the group include Sheikh Yunus Mandanga and Dakitoor Muwaya, a top Shia cleric in the country who was gunned down at his home in Mayuge district.

The suspects also reportedly raided Bugiri police station where two police officers namely Karim Tenywa and Muzamir Babale were killed.

In the four-hour ruling read by the International Crimes Division registrar Stellah Antiku, the presiding judge noted that the accused persons instilled fear in the public because of political and religious reasons.

Although Mukulu’s lawyers including Evans Ochieng and Luyimbazi Nalukoola were in court, he stood up and requested the registrar for a typed and certified copy of the ruling, saying he is going to appeal against their committal and confirmation of the charges against him.

Mukulu noted that after his extradition from Tanzania in 2015, he spent 14 months at the infamous Nalufenya police detention facility where he was tortured and went on to name some police officers who reportedly tortured him.

He was advised to file a formal application through his lawyers and sent back to Luzira prison on remand pending constitution of a panel of three judges of International Crimes Division to try them.

Mukulu and his accomplices were arrested from various places in Uganda and Tanzania between 2014 and 2015 on charges dating back to 1998 when suspected ADF rebels attacked Kichwamba Technical Institute and killed more than 80 students.

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