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(From The Monitor (Uganda) - AAGM)
Byline: Andrew Kasirye
The Uganda Law Society has an on-going Prison Decongestion Programme funded by the North South Institute conducted at our Legal Aid Clinic situated at Luzira.
In a recently concluded criminal session in Kampala, over 50 prisoners who had been on remand for over 360 days were released on bail by the High Court due to the inordinate delay in the commencement of their trials. I was privileged to be among the Pro bono Counsel appearing on behalf of the accused persons.
The bail applications were predicated upon Article 23(6)b of the Constitution of Uganda that makes it mandatory for the High Court and subordinate Courts to grant bail on reasonable conditions where a person has been remanded in custody 120 days for the an offence triable by High Court and subordinate Courts. In fact this period was shortened during the recent Constitutional Review Process.
I therefore cannot resist asking the Chairman of the General Court Martial, whether he is aware that the Constitution of Uganda affects the proceedings before him presently? The plight of Henry Tumukunde brings this legal issue into the spotlight because he has been on remand for over six calendar months and was denied bail again on Friday 15th December 2005.
Has the Chairman of the General Court Martial been advised by …