Court of appeal dismisses 26 cases in criminal session

Justice Alphonse Owiny Doro (middle) and other justices during the opening of the court of appeal criminal session in August 2018. (Photo by Aine Bob)

MBARARA– Three judges of the Court of Appeal sitting at the Mbarara High Court on Tuesday disposed off 26 high profile appeal cases, such as aggravated robbery, murder to defilement.

The court of appeal criminal session began on August 22, 2018, and was opened by deputy chief justice Owiny Doro Alphonse and others, Cheborion Barishaki, Madrama Izama and Elizabeth Musoke who was not present.

The session heard and dropped 26 out of 52 cases—many of which appellants were on death row.

Judgments were read out on Wednesday afternoon by the Court of Appeal assistant registrar, Tumwebaze Ayebare on behalf of the three Justices Cheborion Barishaki, Madrama Izama, and Elizabeth Musoke.

Appealants in the courtroom waiting for their fate. (Photo by Aine Bob)

Tumwebaze told reporters that two of the cases were dropped on the very first day when the session started in August.

The cases were mostly murder, aggravated defilement, robbery and illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.

Tumwebaze noted that three convicts; who were on murder case were acquitted fully these included Julius Byaruhanga, Kato Godfrey and Grace Kasande, while seven were sent home after the court of appeal revised their sentences, found they had already completed their sentences.

One of the convicts, Jackson Tarindekura who in 2004 was sentenced to life imprisonment, had his sentence overturned and was given 27 years commencing the date of conviction which was August 13, 2004.

Tumwebaze Ayebare the deputy registrar court of appeal while delivering the judgments on behalf of the three justices of court of appeal. (Photo by Aine Bob)

Others who had been sentenced to life imprisonment but had their sentence reduced included James Turyomwe (murder) from Kabale.

Turyomwe was ordered to stay in custody waiting for an order from the minister of internal affairs since at the time of committing the offence, he was insane while Richard Mbarushimana (murder) had been sentenced to killing by hanging was reduced to 20 years to be served from the date of conviction in 2014.

Majority of the rulings were reductions of jail terms of the convicts, as the initial judgments were found to be harsh according to the judges.

“If you follow the sentencing guidelines, these sentences handled by high court were okay but some of them were considered to be harsh looking at circumstances of each case—especially the age of the offenders,” Tumbwebaze said.









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