By Sania Babirye
Sentenced serial killer Richard Arinaitwe has today appeared before the Court of Appeal to challenge his life imprisonment sentence after he was convicted of murdering an American volunteer in a Hotel room at Equatorial in 2003.
Arinaitwe has appeared before three justics of the court of appeal led by justices Elizabeth Musoke , Ezekiel Muhanguzi and Hellen Obura.
In the appeal, Arinaitwe is faulting high court Judge Rwamisazi Kagaba who convicted him of murder and sentenced him to death for wrongly trying and convicting him yet he did not have a lawyer to represent him.
However, in 2002 when Arinaitwe was being tried he refused a state attorney that was provided to him and instead asked the judge to allow him to represent himself in the matter since ge was a law student at Makerere university though in his first year.
In December 2003,Arinaitwe was found guilty of stabbing to death Cecillia Maria Goetz; an NGO worker who was in the country by then to follow up the utilization of HIV/AIDS funds.
But he was spared death when the Supreme court made a ruling ruling outlawing the mandatory death penalty on murder and also ordered that all inmates on death row who have spent more than 3 years without being executed should have their sentences mitigated before the High court.
He was asked produced before High court justice Joseph Murangira who substituted his death penalty with life imprisonment.
However, Arinaitwe through his lawyer Elizabeth Asiimwe is also contesting the life imprisonment on grounds that it is too harsh and excessive .
He now wants the court of appeal hand him a much lighter sentence not exceeding 29 years.
He is said to have stabbed her to death at Hotel Equatorial here in Kampala on the 28th of July 1998.
He is a trouble maker who tried to strangle then Buganda road court judge Jane Alividza while appearing before her and it is said that when he was remanded, he was found teaching fellow inmates how to strangle people.
Arinaitwe was trained in Marshal art and kick boxing.
However, through out his trial he maintained his innocence and denied to have been at the scene in the deceased’s hotel room although a receptionist testified to have seen him in the room.