Court Frees Former URA Officers In Theft Case of $410,000 from South Sudanese national.
After the court determined that two former Uganda Revenue Authority employees had been severely tortured, they were freed on charges that they had stolen nearly half a million dollars from an unnamed South Sudanese.
Trials for Stevens Kalemba and Robert Asiimwe Akanga were scheduled for a variety of charges, including felony theft, official misconduct, and abuse of office.
The only thing the state could say about the victim, according to DailyMonitor, is that he is the owner of a business called GAK Express Co. Limited.
The South Sudanese nationals reported the incident to Kawempe Police Station, which forwarded it to the Police Flying Squad Unit, which then detained the pair, according to court papers.
The suspects were taken to the dreaded Special Investigations Unit (SIU) in Kireka, Wakiso District, and later taken to the Army headquarters in Mbuya, Kampala.
However, the suspects could not be prosecuted after Uganda’s Anti-Corruption Court found that they were tortured by security operatives during and after the arrest.
After hearing from both sides, Justice Lawrence Gidudu, the head of the Anti-Corruption Court, was left with no option but to let the accused duo walk free.
“The cumulative import of all the circumstances that I have listed above confirm that the allegations made by the applicants in regard to their arbitrary arrests and subsequent torture are true,” said Lawrence.
He added that the rights of the accused were threatened, infringed upon, and violated in reference to the country’s constitution.
“The injuries sustained are gruesome to say the least and confirm that there was torture of A1 and A2,” the judge ruled.
“I am satisfied that the applicants have demonstrated that their non-derogable rights and freedoms were infringed upon, when they were mercilessly battered in the hands of the military that should have had no role in purporting to investigate a criminal case of abuse of office and theft.”
He added; “I hereby declare their trial in criminal session case 1 of 2022 a nullity and acquit them pursuant to Section 11(2) of The Human Rights (Enforcement)Act, 2019.”
Instead, the court has ordered the government to pay more than Shs400 million to the two employees as compensation for torture.