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Parliament warns DPP from prosecuting torture victims

Legislators have petitioned the Director of Public Prosecution, Mike Chibita against prosecuting suspects nursing torture injuries before courts of law (FILE PHOTO)

PARLIAMENT – MPs on the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs have cautioned the Director of Public Prosecution, Mike Chibita against prosecuting suspects nursing torture injuries before courts of law.

Parliament’s caution is contained in the 2019/2020 Ministerial policy statement for the Office of the Directorate of Public Prosecution in which MPs blamed the DPP for sanctioning files for torture victims.

The report highlighted; “There are instances when the ODPP accepts files for victims who have been tortured, yet prosecution of a person whose rights have been violated is a nullity.”

Markson Oboth, Committee Chairperson argued that the DPP should stop because the prosecution of victims whose rights have been abused leads to loss of cases.

The Directorate was also faulted for prosecuting cases whose investigation is ongoing with the committee observing that there are a number of cases whose investigations are ongoing but DPP has already prosecuted these cases with the MPs arguing that the scenario creates backlogs in Courts of Law as investigations continue.

The Committee recommended to have the DPP should prosecute cases whose investigations are thoroughly done and complete.

During the FY2019/2020, the Directorate’s total budget is proposed to be Shs34.42 billion, of which Shs8.89Bn is for Wage and Shs19.08Bn for Non-wage with the Directorate’s recurrent budget having declined by Shs130M as a result of the department of finance and administration experiencing a reduction in its budget from Shs7.91Bn in FY 2018/19 to Shs7.783Bn in 2019/2020.

The MPs concerns over torture victims are in response to a scenario where Robert Kyagulanyi along other suspects were paraded before court in Gulu to answer treason charges following the Arua fracas with some of the suspects appearing before courts of law with wombs.

The Committee also recommended providing Shs2.980Bn to beef up security of the prosecutors after realising that Government has only provided Shs520Mn out of Shs3.5Bn that was required.

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