The court has rejected the request of one of the suspects in the murder case of social worker Maria Nagirinya to be granted UGX 50 million to advertise summons for his five witnesses through mass media.
The main suspect, Copriam Kasolo, a former shoe hawker in Nateete, Rubaga Division, who previously represented himself against the charges of kidnapping and murdering Nagirinya and her driver Ronald Kitayimbwa, claimed that he did not know the whereabouts of his witnesses, although they had worked together before.
However, High Court Judge Isaac Muwata ruled on Tuesday that Kasolo did not indicate to the magistrate’s court in Mengo that he intended to call the mentioned witnesses.
“There is no legal basis for the claim. The court is only required to summon witnesses named during the committal of the accused person. If the mentioned funds were to be utilized in the process, that would still be within the court’s domain, not the accused person’s,” the judge stated.
The court also instructed the prison authorities to transfer one of the suspects, Hassan Kiseka, from Luzira to another prison facility due to fears for his safety following threats from his co-accused. He becomes the second suspect to be relocated after Nassif Kalyango, who was also moved for similar reasons.
During the same session, the prosecution raised concerns about the defense counsel, Mr. Julius Sserwambala, representing all the accused individuals due to conflicting evidence presented.
“You have two clients providing contradictory evidence. How are you going to represent them? The law does not permit this. Since you have presented evidence for accused number two, these two must have separate legal representation,” Justice Muwata ruled, adjourning the case to June 22 for further proceedings.
The other suspects in the case are Johnson Lubega alias Manomano Rasta, Sadat Katerega, and Sharif Mpanga. They are facing charges of murder, kidnapping, and aggravated robbery.
According to the prosecution led by Mr. Jonathan Muwaganya and Timothy Emerit, the accused, along with other unidentified individuals, kidnapped Nagirinya and Kitayimbwa on August 28, 2019, in Nabisasiro zone in Rubaga and Mukono District and subsequently murdered them.
The suspects are also accused of using violence to rob Nagirinya of her car, mobile phone, and UGX 260,000 in cash.