Crime & InvestigationNews

Over 2,000 Prisoners Listed for Presidential Pardon

A total of 2,100 prisoners could soon walk out of jail before completing their sentences after being listed by the Uganda Prisons Service for presidential pardon.

Under the prerogative of mercy as stated in the Constitution, the President can pardon prisoners on advice of the Attorney General.

According to the spokesperson of the Uganda Prisons, Mr Frank Baine, the list has been submitted to the Attorney General.

“We submitted the list of names of different categories of prisoners who qualify for the pardon. The names were sent to the authorities for consideration because the names are approved by the President,” said Mr Baine in a telephone interview on Wednesday.

However, he did not disclose any names on the list.

The Attorney General, Mr William Byaruhanga, declined to comment about the matter when contacted.

Before the President pardons an inmate, a Committee of Prerogative of Mercy, composed of 12 members, meets and submits the names of those seeking presidential pardon.

The committee which is headed by the Chief Justice is charged with the responsibility of processing a report composed of facts of the case and why the inmate should be considered for clemency.

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Upon receiving the report and the names of inmates seeking pardon, the President may then exercise his right of pardoning any inmate. The President has in the past pardoned high profile prisoners.

Museveni also pardoned former minister in the Obote government Chris Rwakasisi who was serving a death sentence.

Another beneficiary of the presidential prerogative of mercy is Abdullah Nasur, who was convicted for the murder of a Masaka mayor in 1972 in the late Idi Amin’s regime who was released in 2001 after 22 years on death row.

Mr Nasur had been sentenced to death in 1981 for the murder of Francis Walugembe, a former mayor of Masaka.

In 2012, President Museveni released Sharma Kooky who was convicted of murdering his wife, Renu Joshi, after spending 12 years at Luzira Maximum Security Prison.

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