The Uganda Police has explained the re-arrest of the suspects in the murder of former Police Spokesperson, Andrew Felix Kaweesi following their release on bail.
Armed security operatives on Wednesday re-arrested four of the eight people shortly after being discharged by the Registrar of the International Crimes Division of High Court Ms Esther Nasambu, following their bail release by Justice Lydia Mugambe.
They are Yusuf Nyanzi, Jibril Kalyango, Joshua Kyambadde and Yusuf Mugerwa. The four were picked up together with their lawyer, Mr James Mubiru.
Both uniformed and plain-clothed security officers closed the main gate of the court premises to block the suspects from leaving.
The re-arrest has generated much debate including from senior members of the Judiciary.
‘ ‘The public should note that, the police have powers to enter premises, to arrest a person, detain a person or execute a warrant, if they believe on reasonable grounds that the person is inside that building or premise.’’ Police spokesperson Fred Enanga said.
He added: This can be with or without a warrant. Therefore, entering a court room or being present within court premises does not place any one above the Law or exempt them from Law Enforcement.
Enanga explained that there is no Law that prevents police from conducting arrests within Court premises, provided there are reasonable grounds to do so. We have arrested criminals who have attacked judicial officers on duty, and also arrested officials who have victimized people within court premises.
‘ ‘It is surprising that in this instance, we were attacked in the manner that we strongly believe sets a dangerous precedent and also shows the double standards by senior members of the Judiciary.’’
Enanga says courts may not happy with the way bail is perceived in some occasions by Law enforcers. ‘ ‘We are aware that the purpose of bail is to allow for people accused of crime but not yet proven guilty to be released from Prison. This includes dangerous persons with great potential of re-offending. Of recent we have seen that some of those released from Prison or Courts, have committed new violent crimes immediately after their release.’’
He says the IGP will be to issuing a circular to all Units on policing actions within court premises, making it clear that arrests should not be made indiscriminately.
‘ ‘They should proceed to arrest, targeted criminals, suspects who pose national security threats and those who pose crime and safety threats within court premises, in a manner that does not disrupt court business.’’
The Police mouthpiece revealed that the 4 accused persons bailed out on the 11/09/2019, were re-arrested on new developments of alleged conspiracy with external criminal networks while in prison. The matter is being investigated by the Special Investigations Division, Kireka.