Justices of the Court of Appeal sitting in Fortpotal have today over-turned two life-imprisonment decisions, releasing two of the prisoners.
The justices Kenneth Kakuru, Cristopher Madarama and Irene Mulyagonja delivered the judgements as part of their commitment to expedite justice and to deliver Judgements in time.
The decisions came during hearing sessions that are part of a wider effort led by the deputy Chief Justice Richard Buteera to expedite the hearing of cases.
The sessions that started on Monday November 9, where 40 criminal appeals are set to be heard. The sentences of the other two appellants were reduced.
While ordering for the acquittal of Asuman Katende, who was meant to serve life imprisonment, the 4 lordships decried the unfortunate delay to hear some of the appeals for over 10 years, which has had indelible consequences on the accused persons who may eventually be found innocent.
The other appellant who was released, was serving a 25year jail term for the offense of murder, the court noted that Edward Tumuhimbise was of unsound mind at the time of committing the offense, but the trial court did not make a finding on the issue.
The court argued that having spent about 12 years in prison it was no longer viable to order a retrial and referred the appellants for minister’s order under Section 45 of the trial indictment.
In the other appeals, the court substituted a 24 year jail term with a sentence of 12 years and six months for the offence of aggravated robbery.
‘Another appellant who was serving a 25 year jail term for aggravated defilement is now serving 13 years and seven months, the court considered that he had pleaded guilty and was a first time offender, exhibited intentions to reform and become useful in society,” a statement from the Judiciary reads.
The court’s deputy registrar Ayebare Tumwebaze reiterated the justices’ commitment to ensure timely justice delivery
“More judgements are to be delivered before the hearing phase ends, while then remaining judgements will be delivered in a month’s time,” said Tumwebaze.
Tumwebaze said, in order to curb the spread of the corona virus, the appellants will not be physically present in the court room, they will continue to participate in the sessions through zoom technology which facilitates real time interaction.
The appeals being handled include 20 aggravated defilement convictions, 15 murders, four on aggravated robbery and one rape.