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Cablegate: Uganda: Peoples' Redemption Army Suspects Granted Bail

VZCZCXRO9069
RR RUEHROV
DE RUEHKM #1242 2140922
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 020922Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY KAMPALA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9169
RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS KAMPALA 001242

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: MOPS ASEC PINS PHUM UG
SUBJECT: UGANDA: PEOPLES' REDEMPTION ARMY SUSPECTS GRANTED BAIL
BUT...

REFERENCE: KAMPALA 2110

KAMPALA 0689
KAMPALA 0367
KAMPALA 1089
KAMPALA 1122
-------
Summary
-------

1. The High Court in Arua finally granted bail to seven suspected
Peoples Redemption Army (PRA) rebels currently facing murder
charges. The suspects were returned to jail after failing to raise
adequate bail funds. The suspects are part of the group charged
with treason alongside Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) opposition
leader Kizza Besigye. The granting of bail is a positive
development considering that the State has on several occasions
blocked the release of the suspects. Two other suspects of the same
group remain in jail in Bushenyi District. End Summary

---------------------
Suspects Granted Bail
---------------------

2. On July 30, the High Court in Arua granted bail to seven
suspected PRA susects who were facing murder charges. The suspects
were on remand for five months. They were, however, taken back to
prison after they failed to raise USD 1,208 each as part of the bail
agreement The suspects are part of the 22 charged with treason
alongside FDC opposition leader Besigye.

3. Defense counsel told Emboff that when the bail money is fully
paid, only five of them, who earlier secured bail in respect to the
treason case, will be released. The rest will have to wait until
their bail application for release in the treason case is heard by
the High Court in Kampala. The bail conditions also require the
suspects to report to the criminal department in the district twice
a month, beginning August 6. The suspects were also ordered to
report to the registrar at Arua High court once a month. In
addition, each suspect is required to provide sign two bond
guarantees valued at USD 6,042.

4. On March 1, the suspects were re-arrested in a security
operation at the High Court in Kampala. On March 2 they were
flown to Arua to be charged with the murder of Lt. Mawa, a Uganda
Peoples Defense Force (UPDF) officer which took place on October 21,
2003 at Alube Village in Koboko District. The suspects deny the
charge.

---------------------------
Two Suspects Remain in Jail
---------------------------

5. Meanwhile, two other PRA suspects of the same group appeared for
their bail hearing in Mbarara High Court on July 26. The suspects
were charged with the murder of John Byarugaba in Bushenyi in 2002.
Defense counsel told Emboff that the judge declined to grant bail on
the basis that the prosecution indicated to the court that its
investigation of the case is almost complete. The judge would review
the decision to determine whether to grant bail on August 8.

-------
Comment
-------

6. The defense attorneys said they are pleased with the Court's
ruling. They believe the Judge, originally from the district, is
acting reasonably. The attorneys added that bail was not set too
high for the suspects. End Comment.
BROWNING

1

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