Court denies Sheikh Kawooya bail

Sheikh Siraje Kawooya (in white T-shirt)  with his lawyer in court on Thursday: PHOTO BY RACHEAL AGABA

The Court of Appeal has thrown out an application by muslim cleric Sheikh Siraje Kawooya to be released on bail. Kawooya  is serving a life jail sentence for terrorism.

Sheikh  Kawooya along side seven other sheikhs including the former leader of the Tabliq muslim section Shiekh Yunus Kamoga were in August 2017 convicted of Terrosim by the International Crimes Division of the High Court.

Four of the  sheikhs were committed to serve the rest of their remaining parts of life in jail while others were sentenced to spend 30 years in prison.

Sheikh Kawooya applied to be released on bail pending appeal on grounds that there will be a likelyhood of delay in hearing his appeal given the busy schedule of the court.

He further argued that he suffers from a grave illiness that needs a special diet and medication which can not be provided for in prison.

He also stated that he poises no danger to society since the offense he was convicted for doesn’t involve personal violence .

Court of Appeal Judge Christopher Madrama in his ruling said the cleric is charged with a grave offense and no longer enjoys the presumption of innocence since he was convicted.

Justice Madrama argued that since Sheikh Kawooya was sentenced to serve the second most severe sentence to death, it is a probable reason that he might abscond while on bail .

The judge also ruled that the cleric brought no proof to court from doctors to show that his health condition needs a special diet and cannot withstand prison conditions.

Court also found that the seven surities Kamoga presented are not substantial.

Justice Madrama, however directed the registrar of the International  Crimes Division court to forward  the record  of proceedings to the court of Appeal within 45 days to enable Sheikh Kawooya challenge both his conviction and sentence.



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