Court Martial Sets Free Murder Convict

The Makindye General Court Martial has set free Private Philip Igama, and a UPDF officer who has been awaiting execution, decease after he was sentenced to death by the 4th Division Court Martial in 2001 for the murder of Private Abulejo George at Aliwara Army Detach in Adjumani District.

Private Igama upon being sentenced appealed against both his conviction and sentence in Makindye General Court Martial.

In his appeal, more about he pointed out that the trial court failed to evaluate evidence hence occasioning a miscarriage of justice; that the trial court erred when it proceeded with the trial when he was being
negligently represented, that the same trial court failed to accord him an opportunity to mitigate his sentence and that the sentence awarded to him was harsh and severe.

Yesterday while delivering his ruling, Court Martial chairman Lt Gen Andrew Gutti faulted the trial court for convicting Igama on evidence of only one witness, Private Ereku Moses who pinned the appellant on the act yet he heard the bullet shots from a distance.

Gutti pointed out that the law required that before convicting somebody wholly on circumstantial evidence, there is need to establish that there are no other circumstances that can destroy that
interference. In this matter he noted, the witness said that at the scene of crime there were many drunken soldiers but he suspected Igama yet any other drunken soldier could have caused this death.

The appellant before being convicted informed the trial court that the gun that was shown to him as the murder weapon belonged to him but by the time of the incident it had been taken away from him by his boss Sgt Amoko Sisito who was never called by the prosecution to testify on this matter.

“…the prosecution did not explain to court any efforts made to trace Sgt Amoko;  as already stated the appellant had no duty to prove his innocence but it was the prosecution that failed to exercise it when it ought to have,” ruled Chairman Gutti.

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