Three assessors have asked court to acquit the owner of Pine Car Bond, Muhammed Ssebuwufu, and seven co-accused of murder of businesswoman Betty Donah Katusabe.
Ssebuwufu, Godfrey Kayiza, Philip Mirambe, Stephen Lwanga, Paul Tasingika, Yoweri Kitayimba, Damaseni Ssentongo and Shaban Otuddu are charged with kidnap and murder, an offence they allegedly committed in 2015.
But the assessors, Ms Rehema Babirye, Ms Bogere Betty and Mr Joseph Wasibi, in their joint opinion, said prosecution failed to prove each suspect’s role in the murder.
“Prosecution failed to prove whether there was any theft accompanied with violence, where the accused participated. On the count of Kidnap, which is forceful taking a way of a person, we consider the evidence of prosecution witness number seven (PW7), Ms Specioza Nyanzi a Special Police constable. She testified that she booked out before going to Bwebajja in Wakiso district to arrest the deceased (Katusabe),” Ms Babirye, who read out the joint opinion, said.
“Ms Nyanzi in her evidence explained that along the way, the deceased requested that instead of being taken to Police, she should be taken to Pine car bond. This brings doubt if this was kidnap or lawful arrest. For that reason we are satisfied that prosecution failed to prove its case and still advice court to acquit the accused persons,” she added.
Justice Flavia Anglin Senoga said that she would internalize the assessors’ opinion and compare it with the evidence on record before making her judgment.
Prosecution contends that the accused persons and others still at large on October 21, 2015 at Pine Car Bond on Lumumba Avenue in Kampala murdered Katusabe and robbed her of her mobile phone valued at Shs300, 000 and immediately or after the said robbery, used a panga and sticks to kill her.
Justice Senoga is expected to deliver the verdict on May 30.