Patrick Agaba, the key suspect in the death of Susan Magara, on Tuesday appeared in a South African court as the Ugandan government tabled more evidence in a bid to convince the court to have him extradited to Uganda to face trial.
As part of efforts to impress court that Agaba, aka, Pato, is a wrong character, the Uganda government representatives reportedly told the court in Randburg in the north west of Johannesburg that the suspect holds two Ugandan passports, one in the names of Patrick Agaba Kasaija and another as Patrick Asiimwe.
However, Pato’s defence lawyers reportedly told court that the passport in the names of Patrick Asiimwe had been issued in error, forcing him to return for another in his actual names.
Asked why he had not returned the one issued in error, his lawyers further blamed the Ugandan government for not recalling the passport.
One of the documents submitted to court indicates that Pato should be brought to Uganda so as to crosscheck whether some of the calls from his mobile phone match those made by Susan’s killers to her family as they demanded for ransom.
The government, in its submission, also noted that Pato’s decision to leave the country shortly after the murder of Magara was suspicious, on top of several calls made to some of the suspects.
However, Pato’s lawyers on Tuesday challenged the document, saying it is weak. They also reportedly argued that his extradition is illegal and against the South African laws since Uganda still retains the death sentence.
The South African constitution bars the extradition of a suspect to a country that has a death sentence.
Consequently, Pato’s lawyers asked that he be released on bail. However, the court objected to the bail after the defence lawyers failed to convince the court about his ownership of two Ugandan passports.
The court was adjourned to Tuesday April 10. Security agencies believe Pato flew out of the country with $200,000, which is believed to have been the ransom that Magara’s parents paid to the killers.
Pato is said to have been a poor ordinary Ugandan about five years ago and that his source of wealth and lavish lifestyle has astonished many, including security officials. He is said to own a fleet of luxurious cars and several homes in the city yet he dropped out of university in First Year. His parents are also poor, with his father operating a small retail shop in Hoima District.
Last Thursday, PML Daily reported that the South African court had finally handed over Agaba to Ugandan security agencies, working with Interpol in South Africa after agreeing that the evidence submitted in court was substantial for the extradition of the suspect.
The plane carrying Agaba was expected at Entebbe Airport on the evening of Thursday March 29.
However, shortly before they were due to board a plane with Agaba, the court injunction blocked the transfer until an application by the suspect contesting his repatriation is heard in court.