The Criminal Division of the High Court presided over by Judge Alex Ajiiji, has set July 20, 21, 24 and 25 2023, as the date when it will commence hearing the case in which nine people are accused of kidnapping and killing Suzan Magara, 28, daughter to a Hoima-based businessman, John Magara.
The accused include the Imam of Usafi Mosque, Mahad Kasalita; boda-boda riders, Yusuf Lubega, 32, and Muzamiru Ssali, 27; and a teacher Hajara Nakandi, 35.
Others are businessmen Abubakar Kyewolwa, 30 and Ismail Bukenya; Musa Abbas Buvumbo, 23, and Hassan Kato Miiro, 22 and Hussein Wasswa, 22, a hawker.
Appearing before the Criminal Division of the High Court yesterday (Monday), June 19, 2023, all the nine denied the two counts of murder and kidnap with intent to procure a ransom levied against them contrary to the Penal Code Act.
Prosecution led by Ms Irene Nakimbugwe, contends that on February 7, 2018, the accused persons kidnapped Suzan Magara with intent to obtain a ransom.
Suzan Magara was a cashier at Bwendero Dairy Farm, her father’s business in Kitoba sub-county, Hoima district.
Prosecution further avers that on February 27, 2028, at Kigo in Wakiso district the accused killed Suzan Magara.
Ms Nakimbugwe asked court to adjourn the case for a month as the prosecution completes the final disclosures intended to use with the defence lawyers.
“Given the gravity of this case and with evidence that will be adduced in court, prosecution prays for four weeks to prepare, disclose to the defence and as well as constitute a team of prosecutors who will handle the matter expeditiously. In light of that my lord, we pray for July 20,” she submitted.
However, the prime suspect, Patrick Kasaija, popularly known as Pato, a born of Bujumbura cell in Hoima city, did not appear in court because he is out on bail and did not turn up in court yesterday.
This forced the judge to ask why he was not in court to take plea together with his co-accused persons but Ms Nakimbugwe told court that prosecution would address court on July 20 about Kasaija.
While in court, Judge Ajiiji advised Ssali, one of the accused to get in touch with their lawyers to bring to court’s attention all issues they want to raise.
Court adjourned to July 20.