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Cablegate: Uganda: Courts Set Tough Bail Terms for Pra Suspects

VZCZCXRO8775
RR RUEHROV
DE RUEHKM #1346 2360624
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 240624Z AUG 07 ZDS
FM AMEMBASSY KAMPALA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9255
RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS KAMPALA 001346

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

C O R R E C T E D COPY (CAPTION ADDED ONLY)

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT PASS TO USAID

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: MOPS ASEC PINS PHUM UG
SUBJECT: UGANDA: COURTS SET TOUGH BAIL TERMS FOR PRA SUSPECTS

REFERENCE: KAMPALA 2110 AND PREVIOUS

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Summary
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1. (SBU) The High Court in Mbarara granted bail and released two
suspected Peoples Redemption Army (PRA) rebels charged with murder
on August 16. The court imposed a new condition, requiring each
suspect to have three individuals deposit land titles as a guarantee
for bail. The suspects are part of the group charged with treason
alongside Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) opposition leader Kizza
Besigye. Seven other PRA suspects in Arua remain in jail because
they are unable to meet the terms of bail for their release. In
both cases, the suspects had spent three years in prison on murder,
treason, and terrorism charges. The courts were within their
discretionary powers to require three separate land title guarantees
for granting bail. However, depositing a land title as a guarantee
is questionable since the courts are aware that most land in Uganda
is unregistered. End Summary.

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Court Sets Tough Bail Conditions
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2. (SBU) On August 16, the High Court in Mbarara granted bail to two
PRA suspects, Frank Atukunda and Robert Darius Baguma Tweyambe, both
charged with murder. Each suspect was required to pay cash bail of
USD 1,156 and deposit three land titles as a bond guarantee. The
Court also required a promissory note of USD 36,000 for each suspect
in order to grant their release. The suspects will be required to
report to Bushenyi Chief Magistrates' Court on the third Friday of
every month.

----------------------------
Arua Suspects Remain in Jail
----------------------------

3. (SBU) Meanwhile, seven other PRA suspects of the same group
remain in jail in Arua after they failed to fulfill the bail
conditions. The suspects were granted bail on July 30 (Reftel).
Lead defense counsel admitted that it was impossible to conceive
that a group of persons who were not in gainful employment could be
in position to raise the bail money. Each suspect would have to pay
USD 1,200 in cash in order to be released. The Arua court has not
required land titles as part of the terms of bail.

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Comment
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4. (SBU) FDC leader Besigye told Emboff that he was surprised by the
new conditions requiring land titles that were set by the court. He
noted that this was the first time in Uganda that a deposit of a
land title was a condition of granting bail. End Comment.
BROWNING

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