The Deputy head of High Court Criminal Division, help http://centerpasutri.com/wp-admin/includes/taxonomy.php Justice Joseph Murangira has been given 14 days to file his defense in the case where he is accused of soliciting a bribe and ‘wrongfully’ sentencing a defendant to death by hanging.
Murangira has been under investigation by the Judicial Service Commission following a complaint filed by Mr. Frank Kanduho who is an advocate.
ChimpReports has obtained a letter from the chairperson of the Judicial Service Commission, online Justice Benjamin Kabiito asking Murangira to prepare his defense and indicate the names of witnesses he hopes to rely on.
According to the letter, cost Kanduho alleges that Justice Murangira solicited for a bribe from a one Moses Byansi in order to handle his case favorably.
“You solicited a bribe of Uganda Shillings nine million to favourably handle High Court Criminal Case no, 102 of 2005 (Uganda Vs Byansi and others) which was under your management at a criminal session you presided over,” the letter reads in part.
“Upon refusal to give in the bribe by the complainant, you sentenced the accused persons to death by hanging.”
The letter further indicates that Murangira is accused of causing disappearance of the court file which was needed to prosecute the accused’s appeal in the court of appeal. He is also accused of harassing the complainant whenever he would appear before his court.
“It’s only after counsel Kanduho’s appeal that the court file surfaced after a period of 8 years.”
Sources inside the judiciary indicate that the Judicial Service Commission has over 500 complaints of judicial misconduct against several judicial officers.
Murangira’s investigation and trial has also been perceived as a witch hunt with in the judiciary.
“There are over 500 cases of misconduct before Judicial Service Commission, why are they rushing Murangira’s this much?” wondered a source who preferred anonymity.
Earlier in January, Justice Murangira attributed his trouble to the Principal Judge Yorokamu Bamwine whom he claimed is persecuting him because of a perceived succession race between them.
The Principal Judge is the administrative head of the High Court and the subordinate courts.
“This matter was brought to my attention by the Principal Judge and I responded to him that what was being alleged against me was trash. But I was surprised that he has since sent the complaint to the JSC (Judicial Service Commission) for investigations,” Murangira said.
“We have our own vendetta as he thinks I want to take over his job but I am a humble man who doesn’t want his job,” he added.
Murangira said there are 534 missing court files currently and wondered why the Principal Judge picked out only him and left out other judges before whom files have also gone missing.
Some of the cases, according to our source were filed before Murangira’s raising questions of why this specific one is being rushed.
“Justice delayed is justice denied. Why don’t they handle the complaints in order of first come first serve?” wondered the source.
“And the judiciary has always been named as top three in the Corruption Perception Index by the public. Why don’t we just have a Commission of Enquiry into Alleged Corruption in the Judiciary?”
“That way it will be transparent and not seem like a witch hunt against anyone.”