Kitata challenges army court trials

By Sania Babirye
Troubled leader of the now defunct   Boda-Boda 2010 Abdullah Kitata who is charged with unlawfully possessing fire arms and army uniforms has challenged his trial by the Army court.
Kitata has filed an application  before the Highcourt  in which he wants court to declare that the General court martial sitting in Makindye is illegally trying him.
In his application , Kitata is suing not only the army court but also it’s registrar John Bizimana, Judge Advocate Gideon Katinda, the Army prosecutors ,  the Attorney Genaral and the Director of Public Prosecutions.
He accuses the plaintiffs of  violating his fundamental rights by trying him in the army court yet he is not a soldier.
 According to Kitata, high court should declare his trial null and void on grounds that the army court has no powers to try him since he is not an army officer but a civilian.
He says that in that regard it should be the high court with jurisdiction  to try him and wants an order also transferring his case to either a magistrate or criminal division of  the high court.
This application  comes after the army court last week commenced his trial in which his alleged three guns, 15 bullets and army uniforms were exhibited in court as evidence to prove the charges against him.
The same court also denied Kitata’s bail application on grounds that he is likely to interfere with witnesses due to his close working relationship with the Uganda Police police and luck of substantial sureties.
The same court also refused Kitata’s request to be transferred transferred from the Makindye military police barracks were he is currently on remand to Luzira prison.
Kitata has been on remand  since February /2018 .
Him and 12 others are charged with  unlawful possession of firearms and Military gear.
Kitata   faces  5   counts of being in unlawful possession of an SMG gun, 3 pistols  and 50 rounds of live ammunition that  prosecution states were  found on him on 18th/January 2018 at vine hotel in Wakaliga.
 According to   Prosecution the above items   are  only a monopoly of the UPDF.