KAMPALA – Justice Musa Ssekaana of the High Court Civil Division has ordered Internal Security Organisation (ISO) to release the arrested Movit Products Ltd boss Mr Simpson Birungi.
The judge’s directive came after the Attorney General (AG) and Internal Security Organisation (ISO) failed appear in court to defend the detention of Mr Birungi beyond 48hours and in place not authorised by law.
“The law gives powers to this court in exercise of its discretion to make an order that the person restrained be released from the illegal detention in accordance with rule 6 of the judicature (Habeas Corpus) Rules,” Justice Ssekaana ruled.
In his ruling, the judge also noted that the wife of the applicant (Mr Birungi) swore an affidavit confirming that he is being held in custody of ISO after she was allowed to visit him at Kyengera where he has been in detention for now 13 days since his arrest on June 7.
”Mr Birungi has not been produced before any court of law. He is also detained at Kyengera which is not known to be a gazzetted place authorized by law under Article 23(2) of the constitution,” Justice Ssekaana ruled.
Last week the family’s lawyer, Nyanzi, Kiboneka & Mbabazi Advocates, filed a habeas corpus in court after security personnel of Internal Security Organisation arrested Mr Birungi on June 7 on allegations of murder. He had been released on bond by police on similar charges.
A habeas corpus application is made in court seeking a person under detention to be brought before a judge or magistrate especially to secure that person’s release unless lawful grounds are shown to justify their continued incarceration.
The respondents in this case include; the director general , Internal Security Organisation (ISO), Inspector General of Police (IGP), Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) and attorney general (AG).
In her affidavit, Ms Sheila Birungi Kyokusiima said that the acts of the respondent authorities in continuing to illegally detain the applicant are an abuse of the power and authority of the constitution.
She said that she had been informed by the applicant’s lawyers that where he is not released, he ought to be brought to court as soon as possible and not later than forty-eight hours from the time of his or her arrest which has not been done in this case.
Ms Birungi also said that her husband is a citizen of Uganda with rights and freedoms hereby guaranteed under and by the constitution of Uganda.
She added that the applicant is a regional businessman and a manufacturer of movit products in Kampala.
According to the police, Mr Birungi was arrested by ISO operatives who later handed him over to police and was consequently detained at Kireka Special Investigations Directorate (SID) former Violent Crime Crack Unit over the murder of his former manager, Mr Stephen Asaba in 2010 whose body was dumped in Nakawuka in Kajjansi town council, Wakiso district.