State Prosecution has asked court to order for a medical examination to be conducted on the mental health of controversial educationist Dr Stella Nyanzi.
Dr. Nyanzi was today charged with two offenses of Cyber Harassment (against Sec 24 of the Computer Misuse Act of 2011) and Offensive Communication (against Sect 25 of the same Act) all allegedly committed against President Museveni via Facebook.
The state prosecutor Jonathan Muwaganya asked Buganda Road Chief Magistrate James Mawanda Eremye for an order to have Nyanzi examined to ascertain her mental status before proceeding with plea taking.
“The investigating officer has indicated that he observed keenly the conduct and behaviour of the suspect and realized periodic unusual behaviour characterized by gross indecent utterances, pharm ” Muwaganya told court on Monday afternoon.
“She also has a record of public undressing and to this we have photographs as evidence to this mental sickness. We believe that no sane person of her age and stature can exhibit such conduct.”
The state prosecutor said that Dr. Nyanzi has another record of having been admitted at Butabika Hospital some time back, yet another piece of evidence to her unstable mental status.
The prosecutor said court ought to give 14 day period into which the suspect should be admitted to a psychiatric hospital so as to be checked and later given treatment on orders of the court before she takes her plea.
“She has a psychiatric case and if not attended to, it would lead to continued injury or reputation damage of her victims and the general public.”
Muwanganya added, “It is done in the interest of justice that her mental status is established so that monitoring of her condition can be catered for and a comprehensive report on her current condition given.”
The defence lawyers led by Nicholas Opio, Julius Galisonga and Isaac Ssemakadde however, challenged the state prosecutor’s request they said was not brought in good faith.
“Neither herself or us the lawyers have complained of the mental status. The court is mandated to protect the rights of the accused who is presumed innocent until proven guilty,” Nicholas Opio told court.
“He is quoting a provision which dates back in 1938 and predates the constitution .Such a provision cannot be relied upon.”
Julius Galisonga said the application by the state was only meant to stall the case with reasons premised on speculation.
The Buganda Road Chief Magistrate nonetheless allowed Dr.Nyanzi to take plea, who extensively denied making any offensive communication and cyber harassment.
The Chief Magistrate noted that he would dispose off the application by the state in the next court session before adjourning court to April 25.