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Court Decides today on Nicholas Opiyo Bail

High Court judge Jane Okuo Kajuga will on Mid-day deliver her ruling on the bail application filed by Human Rights Lawyer Nicholas Opiyo who was recently charged and remanded to Kitalya on allegations of money laundering.

Opiyo through his team of lawyers led David Mpanga has asked court to release him on bail pending hearing of his case.

Among the grounds for his bail application is that he is a law abiding citizen, an advocate of High Court, who is charged with bailable offences by the High court.

“The applicant has a fixed place of abode under the jurisdiction of this court and on 23rd this month Uganda Police conducted a search which was confirmed by the LC1 Chairperson of that area,” Mpanga told court.

Mpanga further noted that Opiyo in his affidavit clearly stated that he understands the responsibilities that comes with bail.

The bail hearing was attended among others by diplomats

He has presented four sureties who included Francis Gimala the former Uganda Law Society President, Sylivia Namubiru Mukasa the Executive Director LAPSNET and two other advocates.

Mpanga also asked court to use its discretion to grant his client bail on reasonable terms.

However, the state prosecution led by Stephen Ariong opposed this application on grounds that Opiyo’s residence was not clearly identified in the documents presented before court.

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“When we contacted on phone the LC1 Chairperson who recommended the applicant as he was applying for bail, he couldn’t tell us the exact location of the applicant’s home.”

Ariong also expressed concern that once granted bail, Opyiyo may interfere with the ongoing investigations in the matter.

“Investigations are under way and some of the witnesses are expected from Chapter four the institution being headed by the applicant as the Executive Director.”

However, in his rejoinder Mpanga said that there is no doubt that Police did a search at applicant’s home and this was evidenced by ASP Ayebale Benon who conducted the search at Opiyo’s home located at Kazinga zone Kiwatule.

Opiyo appeared for the bail heating via video conferencing from prison.

The judge has adjourned the matter up to midday to deliver her ruling.

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