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Key suspect in Entebbe women murders seeks bail

van Katongole (right), his co-accused Andrew Kizito (centre) and Helen Nabaggala (left) in court on September 25, 2017. He has applied for bail (FILE PHOTO)

KAMPALA- After spending almost a year in jail, one of the key suspects in the Entebbe women murders Ivan Katongole has applied to be released on bail before the High court at Kampala pending trial of his case.

Katongole, a businessman dealing in the exportation of fish and a resident of Nkumba –Kigero is facing a charge of murder of a one Rose Namuli, a former hairdresser at Mpala village.

Through his lawyers; Caleb Alaka and Evans Ochieng, Katongole has listed several grounds for his bail application including the fact that the DPP has indefinitely held him on remand on claims that he has fresh pending murder charges against him.

Other grounds for bail are that it is his constitutional right to be released on bail, and has a permanent place of residence at Nkumba- Kigero for which he has also produced a title as security in court.

“Since there is no allocated date for him to appear in court to face the new charges, he is afraid that his right to a fair and speedy trial is in jeopardy,” Mr Alaka submitted.

Katongole has presented 3 sureties including his father Rogers Kaweesa and 3 friends as assurance that he will return back to court once bailed.

However, the DPP through state prosecutor Nelly Asiku opposed Katongole’s bail application saying there are high chances of him escaping since he is charged with grave offenses that attract a maximum sentence of death upon conviction.

“The letters of introduction brought by Katongole’s 4 sureties are not authentic because they do not bear signatures of the current village leadership. The court should just make orders that Katongole appears in court for trial instead of releasing him on bail,” Mr Asiku said.

In the new charges, the DPP alleges that Katongole murdered another 17-year-old girl known as Sarah Wanyana a resident of Jjumba central.

Police then on July 24, 2017, arrested Katongole and 2 other people; Hellen Nabagala and Andrew Kizito as suspects in the alleged gruesome murder and the 3 are currently held at Kigo prison awaiting trial before the High court at Entebbe.

Justice Jane Abodo, however, announced that she will make her ruling on the September 24.

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