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Extradited Magara murder suspect being quizzed, says police

Patrick Agaba alias PATO, a key suspect in the Susan Magara gruesome murder, has been extradited from South Africa and currently held at the Special Investigations Unit in Kireka, a township in Kira Municipality, Wakiso District. (PHOTO/File)

KIREKA – Police have said that Patrick Agaba, alias Pato, the key suspect in the murder of Susan Magara, is being interrogated by the Special Investigations Unit (ISU), following his extradition from South Africa on Wednesday.

Government of Uganda, through Interpol, coordinated the return of Pato from South Africa, where he was arrested on the 7th, March 2018, by members of Interpol South Africa, Crime Intelligence and the National Investigation Unit at his residential address in Midrand, South Africa.

In a statement issued on Thursday, May 16, Mr. Fred Enanga, the police spokesman, said his case file is being processed for the attention of the DPP.

“As you are all aware, the suspect was highly suspected to be the person behind the voice recorded, during the phone negotiations, over the USD 1M ransom, and the advance payment of USD200,000, that was effected on the 24th, February 2018, which formed the basis of the IGP’s request then,” Mr. Enanga said.

The police spokesman said Pato’s conduct in the aftermath of Magara’s murder in February last year was suspicious, forcing security agencies to investigate him.

“His conduct towards the end of the ordeal was very suspicious, when on the 13th February 2018, he applied for a Visa to South Africa, with a flight plan for 16th, February 2018. Instead, he left Entebbe International Airport, on the 17th, February 2018, for Harare, through Nairobi, where he, however, stopped and falsely declared to the immigration officials, how he was returning to Uganda, from, Accra, Ghana. He returned to Uganda on the same day and thereafter, travelled by road, through Botswana to South Africa on the 24th, February 2018, coincidentally the same date the advance ransom payment was delivered to the perpetrators. The suspect possessed two Passports; Number B0661869 that was valid until 3/03/2018, in the names of Agaba Patrick, and Number B1177225 that is valid till 19/01/2025 in the names of Kasaija Patrick,” he said.

Late Susan Magara was brutally murdered on February 27, 2018, under unclear circumstances. (FILE PHOTO)

Mr Enanga added that the extradition was possible thanks to the good working relations between South Africa and Uganda.

“We would like to thank the Directorate of Interpol and International Relations, which initiated an international fugitive investigation with support from the offices of the Inspector General of Police and the Directorate of Public Prosecutions. They further coordinated closely with the Prosecutors Office and Law Enforcement Personnel in South Africa, who helped in the location and arrest of the suspect. And on the 25/03/2019, the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services signed an extradition order, for the return of the suspect to Uganda from South Africa,” he said.

“The suspect is still presumed innocent until proven beyond a reasonable doubt before the courts of law. In the meantime, his case file is being processed for the attention of the DPP, who upon perusal will determine whether to jointly charge him with the eight other accused persons already committed to the High Court or not,” he said.

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