Buganda Road Grade one magistrate Joan Aciro has dismissed a case where former UPC President Dr Olara Otunnu was accused of defaming President Yoweri Museveni
Otunnu was dragged to court on allegations that on 16th January 2013, information pills during his weekly news conference at Uganda House in Kampala, attacked President Museveni saying his regime had orchestrated a lot of political assassinations.
The magistrate ruled today that prosecution in this matter brought only one witness, who was never cross examined and therefore his evidence was not enough to prove a prima facie case against the accused
“The only prosecution witness brought to court was Gideon Tugume a journalist working with Top Television. He appeared once in court and although prosecution was put on notice to bring him for cross examination, they failed to reproduce him. His testimony therefore was of no value on court record,” she ruled.
The magistrate further pointed out that Tugume in his testimony had informed court that he captured Otunnu making the defamatory statements but didn’t produce in court any record to prove this; yet court couldn’t only rely on only witness allegations.
“Court can’t order the accused to defend himself because prosecution failed to prove a case to answer against him. Basing on Section 127 of the Magistrates Act this court acquits the accused.”
Olara Otunnu through his lawyer Asuman Basalirwa after the ruling vowed to sue the state over malicious prosecution which made him lose a lot of time and resources attending the proceedings.