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Magara murder suspect Pato extradited from South Africa

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)

JOHANNESBURG – Patrick Agaba, the key suspect in the death of Susan Magara last year, has been extradited from South Africa, marking an end to a 14-month court battle between Uganda government and his lawyers.

Pato’s lawyers had until Wednesday successfully blocked his transfer to Kampala where police say he is needed to answer charges of murder for allegedly masterminding the killing of 28-year-old Magara in February 2018.

The South African Police on Wednesday, May 15, won the court battle to have Pato extradited at the request of Interpol.

In a statement, the South African police said the suspect’s extradition is evidence that no one can commit a crime and hide in their country. They also said the move indicates the good working relations between Uganda and South Africa.

Police spokesperson Fred Enanga was not immediately available to confirm Pato’s transfer.

But police sources intimated to this website on Wednesday evening that Pato is being held at the Special Investigations Unit in Kireka, near Kampala.

Sometime in March last year, this website reported that the South African court had finally handed over Agaba to Ugandan security agencies, working with Interpol in South Africa after agreeing that the evidence submitted in court was substantial for the extradition of the suspect. The plane carrying Agaba was expected at Entebbe Airport on Thursday evening.

The kidnap and gruesome murder of Susan Magara sent a shock wave as security agencies swung in action arresting several. (FILE PHOTO)

However, shortly before they had been due to board a plane with Agaba, the court injunction blocked the transfer until an application by the suspect contesting his repatriation was heard in court.

Agaba, aka Pato, was arrested on March 7, 2018, by South African police in collaboration with Ugandan security agencies ISO, ESO, and CMI. However, the court in Randburg had asked the Ugandan security agencies to present enough evidence that Pato committed crimes that would call for his extradition to face trial here.

This website saw documents which were submitted to the South African court by Ugandan security officials supporting their extradition request.

One of the documents submitted to court indicates that Pato should be brought to Uganda so as to crosscheck whether some of the calls from his mobile phone match those made by Susan’s killers to her family as they demanded a ransom.

“Agaba should be extradited to help in the investigations and also crosscheck whether the recorded calls made between Magara’s killers and the family match,” the government document submitted in court reads in part.

The government, in its submission, also noted that Pato’s decision to leave the country shortly after the murder of Magara was suspicious, on top of several calls made to some of the suspects.

Security agencies believe Pato flew out of the country with $200,000, which is believed to have been the ransom that Magara’s parents paid to the killers.

Pato is said to have been a poor ordinary Ugandan about five years ago and that his source of wealth and lavish lifestyle has astonished many, including security officials.

He is said to own a fleet of luxurious cars and several homes in the city yet he dropped out of university in the First Year. His parents are also poor, with his father operating a small retail shop in Hoima District.

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