A High Court judge on Wednesday castigated the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and police over arrest of suspects without evidence.
Justice Musa Ssekaana’s fury was triggered by State Attorney Edwin Amanya’s request for more time for completion of investigations into circumstances that led to the arrest of Ms Chebet Angella, the wife of city socialite Sulaiman Kabangala alias SK Mbuga.
Ms Chebet was arrested by police on February 14 and has not been charged in court or released on police bond. She petitioned the High Court seeking to be released or charged in court.
“You are killing a case by doing something silly. If you have no evidence against someone, then do not arrest them. Arresting should be the last thing to be done if the person is going to run away, but picking them from their homes [without evidence they plan to escape] is wrong,” Justice Ssekaana charged at the prosecutor who represented the DPP in court.
The judge ordered police to produce Ms Chebet in court on March 4 without fail.
He castigated police for going around arresting people without evidence and causing government loss of money in compensation awards.
“You may find that these are the same people who were doing silly things during Gen Kale Kayihura’s regime by detaining people for over 48 hours. Some of them, things have turned against them and they are the same people who have also come to court seeking a habeas corpus,” the judge added.
He warned security agencies to stop defying court orders.
Mr Samuel Mukasa, a brother to Ms Chebet, had submitted that Kira court recently ordered the release of his sister but the CID director Grace Akullo ignored the order.
“Court orders should be obeyed…. This impunity should not be entertained. The applicant was arrested on February 14, and she has not been produced before court. The Constitution enjoins the person arresting to produce the person arrested within 48 hours. The applicant’s counsel has contended that the magistrate’s court issued an order to release the applicant which the persons holding the applicant refused to heed. This is deplorable. This court is satisfied that a habeas corpus should issue referable on March 4. I so order,” the judge said.
Ms Chebet is wanted in Sweden on a case of alleged fraud of 53m Krona (about Shs20.9b) from her former Swedish boyfriend, Mr Sten Heinsoo.