Four justices of Constitutional Court on Friday unanimously agreed to permanently suspend the trial of Geoffrey Kazinda, the Former Principal Accountant in the office of the Prime Minister in all six charges which were brought against him.
The majority justices were Geoffrey Kiryabwire, Cheborion Burishaki, Ezekiel Muhanguzi and Stephen Musota.
Justice Kenneth Kakuru disagreed with the majority decision having noted that he didn’t find any merit in the petition requiring constitutional interpretation.
Kazinda, in 2014, petitioned this court challenging being tried again on matters which he had already been prosecuted against before the High Court.
In their decision, the justices ruled that the failure to adhere to provisions of the constitution led to duplicity of charges against an accused person which infringes on their right to a fair hearing.
“An order to permanently stay proceedings against the petitioner in criminal cases No. 47 of 2013, 62 of 2014, No 101 of 2014 and directing the Anti-Corruption court immediately to discharge the petitioner in the cases whose offences are founded on the same facts,” the court ruled.
The state has been also ordered not to bring new charges against the petitioner (Kazinda) using similar facts or that are in connection with his former employment as Principal Accountant in office of the Prime Minster.
“This finding, however, excludes criminal case No 29 of 2016 on charges of illicit wealth contrary to section 35 (I) (ii) of Anti-corruption Act,” court noted.
Since Kazinda has other charges, he was sent back to Luzira Prison.
In the same ruling, the justices nullified section 90 and 91 of the Magistrates Court Act (MCA) 29 and 30 of Trial and Indictment which grants courts powers to try a person on charges which he has been acquitted or convicted of by a competent court of law.
“After considering the submissions of the parties and evidence, it is my finding that the impugned section 90 and 91, 29 and 30 contravenes Article 28(9) of the constitution and thus declared null and void,” court announced.
Kazinda has faced trial on charges relating to conspiracy to secure money outside authorized procedures, forging of receipts, false accounting, illicit enrichment and others before various courts ever since 2012.