RUKUNGIRI – Four of the five suspects accused of recent kidnaps in Kanungu district have been released.
The four are Tumwebaze Hakimu 36, Mugabo Yoweri 35, Kyarissima Dennis 46 and Imaniraguha Adam 43, all residents of Kanungu district appeared before the Rukungiri Chief Magistrate Ntalo Nasulu Hussein after the director of public prosecutions lost interest in the accused.
The Four have been battling charges of Aggravated Robbery and Kidnap with Intent to procure a Ransom.
According to the release order accessed by our reporter addressed to the Superintendent of Prison Upper Prison Luzira where the suspects have been kept since their arrest, the Prosecutions withdrew the said charges.
“Whereas the above-named persons had been charged with for the offence of Aggravated Robbery and Kidnap with Intent to procure a Ransom, the director of Public Prosecutions has withdrawn the said charges against the accused,” reads the release order in part.
Releasing the accused, the Chief magistrate Nasulu Hussein said: “I hereby set free A2-Mugabo Yoweri, A3-Tumwebaze Hakim, A4- Kyalisiima Denis and A5- immaniraguha Adam unless held on other lawful charges.”
However, the Chief Magistrate has committed to high Court the fifth accused Kananura Mathias after investigations adduced evidence implicating him to the charges.
The five were arrested at the peak of US tourist Kimberly Sue Endicott and her driver Jean Paul Mirenge who were kidnapped by armed men who found them in the Ishasha Sector in Queen Elizabeth national park in April this year and held them in captivity for 5 days.
It’s not clear if the ransom was paid to secure their lives.
Earlier in October, the suspects appeared before His Worship Andrew Katurubuki, in Kanungu district who committed the five suspects to High court.
He heard that the suspects are charged with aggravated robbery and one count of kidnap with intent to procure a ransom which is all Capital offences and are only tried by the high court.
The prosecution alleged that on August 3, 2018, at Nyamenje in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kanungu district, using deadly weapons like pangs and guns robbed Nassolo Sauda, Saturday Julius and kidnapped Mugabe Robert with intent to procure a ransom for his release.
The three were fish traders and were found near the Southern Gate Army Barracks in Queen Elizabeth National Park in Kanungu district.
They were traveling in a Canter truck registration number UAB 196J destined for the Democratic Republic of Congo from Kasese district when they were intercepted by the gunmen. The gunmen kidnapped and only released him after his family parted with a ransom of USD 7500.