Three of the 14 people accused of participating in the July 2010 bomb attacks at Kyadondo Rugby Grounds and the Ethiopian village in Kabalagala have denied all connections with the Somali based terror group Al Shabaab. They also condemned terror acts, remedy http://commongroundwi.org/wp-admin/includes/class-wp-site-icon.php warning all people engaging in these inhuman acts to stop hiding behind Islamic religion.
The trio today opened up their defense following the closure of the state prosecution submissions in which over 70 witnesses pinned the accused, http://cyberstudio.biz/main/components/com_content/models/categories.php who are charged with 76 counts of murder, http://cyancdesign.com/wp-includes-1212/ms-default-filters.php 10 counts of attempted murder, three counts for terrorism, aiding and abetting terrorism.
The three are Dr Ismail Kalule, Idris Magonda and Yahaya Sulaiman. These testified in court on unsworn evidence (where they are not subjected to any question from the Prosecution).
Dr Isma Kalule, 42, is a physician resident of Kiwatule in Wakiso district and former worker in the office of Kampala District Qadhi and also former Imam at the Ntinda Mosque. The proprietor of Homopathetic Clinic in Kampala was the first person to defend himself before High Court judge Justice Alifonsi Owinyi Dollo.
Kalule informed court that he suspects that his arrest and linking him to terrorism was a result of grudges between him and other Muslim sects at the Ntinda Mosque.
He told Court that on September 14, 2011 the office of the DPP agreed to release him together with four others from prison, only to be rearrested later.
He further stated that there were wrangles at the Ntinda Mosque which fellow Muslims referred to authorities and that the security officers should have investigated them thoroughly before rushing to arrest him.
“I was from the mosque heading to my clinic when five men stopped me on the way and asked me whether I was Dr Kalule to which I replied in the affirmative. They took me to my clinic and ordered me to open for them but once inside, they told me that they were from the Joint Antiterrorism Task Force [JATT] and that I was under arrest. They asked me to retrieve information from my computer and as I was doing so, they saw a file of my clients with Somali names which they picked,” he narrated.
Kalule says that from there he was forced into a waiting vehicle and taken to JATT where he found one of the accused Mugisha.
“I didn’t know any of the co accused before July 2010 apart from Abubaker Batemyeto, a village-mate. The others I got to know as we were in Luzira Prison.”
Kalule asked the judge to declare him innocent and also forgave all those that connected him to the terror acts.
“I forgive all those security officers who tortured me at JATT and CMI because the Holy Quran says you cannot live in peace if you don’t forgive.”
The second person to defend himself was Idris Magondu, a 46 year old Kenyan who used to work with Ikrah Radio station in the neighboring country.
In his defense, Magondu informed court that he was initially a protestant with names Christopher Magondu before converting to Islam in 2002.
“By the time of my arrest I was working in the marketing department of one of the companies making diapers and also presenting a religious program aimed at bringing unity at Ikrah radio with my colleague Hassan Hussein”
“While in Kenya I was detained at Indant container depot station, one of the inland depots that cannot be easily accessed by unauthorized people. I lost contact with my people. I was put in a dark cell which was infested with lice, from where I was later transferred to Counterterrorism Headquarters,” he said.
Magondu says that before being brought to Uganda, he was shown a list of items alleged to have been recovered from his house and he was ordered to sign a search certificate.
“I was taken to a conference hall with over 18 police officers who asked me how I involved myself in terror acts. These told me that they were going to hand me over to Uganda and that I should wait to see what [President] Museveni would do to me. From there I was driven to Kirereto Police station where we were later driven from together with my other colleagues Hassan Agade and Muhammed Abdul.”
Magondu says that on the way to the boarder, they never ate anything as the police officers told them that they deserved to starve.
“The Police officers had blind folded us. They bought chicken and drinks on the way. They told us; ‘You terrorists are just wasting the tax payers’ money; you don’t deserve to eat.’ On reaching the Malaba Boarder we were put in waiting Uganda Police cars with our faces covered and driven into Uganda. I woke up at Entebbe Police station but I didn’t know the whereabouts of my other colleagues.”
“I have never participated in any terrorist act; I forgive all those who have fabricated lies with the intention of having me convicted; dedicating them the bible verse John 18.28. Those who arrested me in Kenya told me that I was to meet Museveni but I have never seen him; but If I got a chance, it would be good for me,” he said.
The third suspect Yahaya Sulaiman, 46, a mechanic from Nairobi Kenya informed court that he does not sympathize with terrorism acts and that this could be proved in his philanthropic works prior to his arrest.
“In July 2010 I was working with WFP and GTZ in South Sudan where we were constructing roads. I had never come to Uganda before. Besides, I myself am a footballer, and truthfully the killing of those people watching football hurt me.”
Yahaya informed court that he was tortured during the course of his arrest which was witnessed by his nine year old daughter.
“My Lord I am not a terrorist. I have never killed anyone, I forgive all those that tortured me and led to my breaking up with my family. I condemn all acts of murder and whoever participates in them should not hide behind any religion,” Yahaya submitted.
Justice Dollo adjourned the hearing to Friday December 18th, where more of the accused will give their defense.
Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) presidential candidate Col. Kiiza Besigye was yesterday welcomed enthusiastically in Fort Portal town in Kabarole district.
Besigye, sales http://cultnews.com/wp-includes/meta.php who spent the last three days hunting for votes in the Tooro kingdom districts, link crowed his rallies at the Buhinga Playground where thousands of supporters welcomed him.
Awestruck by the big turn up, check Besigye said there was no doubt he would emerge victor in the NRM stronghold.
“I feel sorry for the NRM and President Museveni; they have lost their darling Tooro,” he said.
According to Dr. Besigye, Kabarole district is known for supporting Museveni but the thousands of people who welcomed him and attended his rallies in different parts of the district symbolized that people had grown tired of the NRM government and wanted change.
At the rally, the FDC candidate disclosed that he was struggling to change the political system of Uganda but not President Yoweri Museveni as an individual.
Dr Besigye said that the country needed a fundamental change that transfers power to people without using guns.
He said, “The country is under the epidemics of unemployment, poor health facilities, corruption and poor education system among others due to corrupt government officials who drain the national treasury. There is need for fundamental change that transfers powers to our people through democracy”.
The FDC presidential candidate stressed that time had come for the country to be ruled by a democratically elected president, adding that since independence Uganda has had only gun powered presidents.
Col. Besigye also pledged to work on Buhinga playground and elevate it into a stadium after the youths told him that they recently demonstrated their leaders and government’s failure to work on it.