KAMPALA- The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has unilaterally discontinued the state’s appeal against opposition leader Dr. Kizza Besigye’s acquittal for rape in 2006, saying the state was no longer interested in pursuing matter.
In a withdraw notice dated July 7, the Senior Assistant DPP David Ndamurani-Ateenyi presented to the Assistant Registrar Court of Appeal, Mr Ayebale Tumwebaze that, “the DPP intends not to proceed with the prosecution of this appeal”.
“Take notice that the Director of Public Prosecutions, appellant in CoA criminal appeal No.06 of 2006 arising from original high court criminal session case No.149/2005 intends not to proceed with the prosecution of this appeal pursuant to rule 70 (1) of the judicature (court appeal) directions,” Mr. Ateenyi noted.
Consequently, the court dismissed the appeal, setting Dr. Besigye, who has always maintained the charges were politically motivated completely free.
In 2006, the Judge John Bosco Katutsi of the High Court, after an emotionally gripping trial, dismissed the rape charges against Dr. Besigye, saying the investigations had been “crude and amateurish, betraying the motives behind the case”.
In his ruling, Judge Katutsi said: “I find that the prosecution dismally failed to prove its case against the accused and he is accordingly set free.”
The judge highlighted what he called “major conflicts” in the testimony of the alleged victim, Joanita Kyakuwa, who did not know the date and month of the alleged crime and by her own admission returned to Dr. Besigye’s home several times after the alleged attack to have sex with him.
“I invite field activists to tell us if these are the actions of a girl who has been raped,” the judge said .
Dr. Besigye was charged after returning from a four-year exile in South Africa to run for president, against the ruling NRM’s Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.
Dr. Besigye’s lawyer David Mpanga argued durinf the trial that the government fabricated the charge in an attempt to keep Dr. Besigye from challenging President Yoweri Museveni in 2006 elections, in which he was considered the most formidable challenger.
Mr. Mpanga in his final submissions also described the charges against his client as sheer fabrication and asked the trial court to dismiss them.
The trial judge agreed with the defence counsel and dismissed allarguments of the prosecution.