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Drama in army court as Gen. Gutti threatens to throw out defence lawyers in Kitata trial

Chairman of the General Court Martial, Gen. Gutti Andrew has Tuesday afternoon threatened to throw out ex-Bodaboda 2010 chairman,Abdalah Kitatta’s defence lawyers over questioning the Court Martial’s authority to preside over the client’s case (FILE PHOTO)

KAMPALA – The trial of Boda Boda 2010 patron Abdullah Kittata and his co-accused in the military court on Tuesday kicked off in dramatic circumstances after the court chairman threatened to kick out the defence lawyers who could not clearly answer whether they believe that the court has the authority to preside over their clients’ case.

The Lt. Gen Andrew Gutti-led General Court Martial, which suspended sittings for a month following the expiry of the court members’ term of office, was resuming trial of the case after their mandate was renewed.

The angry chairman was angered dubbing the lawyers as unserious having given them ample time to brief their clients.

Later on Gutti excused them and asked each individual accused person if they had a problem with any of the members on the bench, to which they answered in the negative.

Kitatta and 12 boda boda riders are on trial on charges of unlawful possession of firearms, live ammunitions, Military head gear and uniforms.

The court resumed with the cross-examination of prosecution’s first witness Private Richard Kasaija by Kitatta’s three lawyers led by Shaban Sanywa.

Even though prosecution first indicated to court that it had not summoned private Kasaija to appear for cross-examination, but in a twist of events, when the case was stood over for one hour to enable defence lawyers interact with their clients, private Kasaijja appeared and took the stand ready to be cross-examined.

The lawyers asked Kasaijja about his evidence he gave on the May 21 2018 regarding the arrests of the suspects he made on the January 20, 2018 and Kitatta’s golden pistol he displayed in court.

During his testimony in May, private Kasaijja displayed 3guns, live ammunitions, Military uniforms and caps that he allegedly discovered from a Hotel room at Wakaliga where Kitatta was hiding.

However the defence team says the golden pistol and the ammunitions were just planted by CMI in Kitatta’s hotel room and therefore want an order from court to retrieve the CCTV footage from Vine Hotel to disprove Kasaijja’s testimony.

Prosecution states that Kitata and 12 others in January 2018 were arrested from Vine Hotel with an SMG gun, 3 pistols, 50 rounds of live ammunitions and Military gears which are a monopoly of the UPDF.

The case has now been adjourned to the August 7, 2018 for further cross-examination of private Kasaijja .

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