High Court judge Jane Francis Abodo has set 25th September for her ruling in an appeal filed by 25 year old Brian Isiko, a YMCA student who is challenging the 2 year prison term handed to him by Buganda road grade one Magistrate Gladys Kamasanyu upon convicting him for stalking the Kabarole district woman MP Hon Sylvia Rwabwogo.
Isiko, who is currently out on bail, through his lawyer Ramathan Waiswa raised a number of reasons for this appeal, among which he faults the magistrate Kamasanyu for changing his plea of not-guilty to guilty, without following the prescribed procedure in the law.
The lawyer argues that his client in the lower court admitted to have downloaded MP Rwabwogo’s contact from the parliamentary website and expressed his freedom of speech through sending her love messages, which he picked from popular American songs by Don Williams and Enrique Iglesias.
Counsel Waiswa says this elaborate explanation was mistakenly considered by court as Isiko’s admission of guilt.
As such, he argues that Isiko’s conviction was uncalled for, because he sent the love messages thinking it was the easier way of befriending and seeking guidance from the Mp, but not necessarily to harass or harm her.
The lawyer also protested conviction of his client on charges of cyber harassment and offensive communication basing on inadequate pieces of evidence.
In the absence of a single love message or phone call that is rude, obscene or indecent tendered in court by MP Rwabogo as originating from Isiko, the lawyer says the magistrate acted unreasonably to convict his client.
The lower court is further faulted for failing to consider the fact that Isiko was a first offender whose actions had caused no harm or injury to MP Rwabwogo.
The lawyer thus asked court to do away with the sentence or to replace it with a fine.
However, Attorney Joanita Tumwishirize from the office of the DPP opposed Isiko’s appeal and asked High Court to order a re-trial if there were any irregularities observed during the trial process in the lower court.