GULU – A 12-year-old boy who was remanded at Gulu Remand Home on the allegation that he defied a 3-year old baby girl from his neighbourhood in Kitgum Municipality was on Wednesday 25 set free on a bail term.
The suspect living with HIV allegedly defiled the toddler on 13th August from their home in Kitgum Municipality in Kitgum District.
The accused lawyer and the Head of Advocacy and Strategic Litigation at Uganda Network on Law, Ethics and HIV/AIDS –UGANET, Ms Immaculate Owomugisha told our reporter that granting the minor bail clearly showed that the Judge minds about the minors and their well-being.
“He has promised to fast track the full hearing of the case because cases of juveniles are cases of agent and he has given us the indication that in November when they are having a session in Kitgum, this case is among those he will listen to but for now the boy is free to stay with his family and be able to go to school and all he deserves,” Ms Owomugisha said.
The bail application was heard by Justice Stephen Mubiru, the High Court Judge on September 23 at the Gulu High Court Circuit bailed the juvenile suspect up to November 4 when he shall be brought court.
Since August, the suspect has been on remand at Gulu Remand Home after he appeared in a Kitgum High Court but later he was committed to Gulu high court.
The suspect was bailed after one of his defence lawyer Mr Paul Mukibi during the bail hearing on September 23 pleaded that since the accused is a minor and living with HIV/AIDS, court should grant him bail such that his parents can monitor his health condition.
Mr Mukibi presented the parents of the accused; Jimmy Kilama and Betty Lakot all residents of Kitgum District as sureties. However, parents are separated and no longer stay together as husband and wife.
Mr Patrick Omiya, the Resident State Prosecutor expressed his disbelief arguing that since the accused parents are no longer together, the suspect may use that advantage to escape.
Justice Mubiru, however, stated that the law doesn’t require a juvenile to stay in remand for a long time provided he/she has sureties. He tasked the mother to be the primary custodian of the accused meanwhile when it comes to taking the accused to Court; it is a shared responsibility of both the mother and the father.
The accused was released on a non–cash bail of UGX 500,000 imposed on each surety.