By Sania Babirye
The terrorism case against jailed leader of the Allied Democratic Forces(ADF) rebel group Jamilu Mukulu has been postponed again.
The case was meant to come up on Friday morning before the International Crimes Division of the High court for mentioning, however, it has been pushed to yet another date to communicated because all courts are closed for today.
According to the chief registrar Esta Nambayo, all cases that had been scheduled for today including that of Jamilu Mukulu have been adjourned because the annual general meeting for the Uganda Judicial officers Association.
Nambayo says the chief justice cleared all the matters to be adjourned and a new date for Mukulu case will be communicated. On the 11th of January 2019, the ICD court formally read charges to Mukulu and his 37 co accused.
These were officially charged with 20 counts including Terrorism, murder , aggravated robbery , attempted murder and belonging to a Terrorism group – ADF.
The charges were read by the court registrar Sanyu Harriet Lukwago , in a court being presided over by a single judge of the International crimes division of the high court Eva Luswata.
According to the indictment Jamilu Mukulu is stated as the leader of ADF and Salaf Muslim community in Uganda.
The charge sheet further says that Mukulu gave orders to his 38 co-accused to commit murders and robberies in various districts like Bugiri, Tororo, Namayingo, Kampala, Wakiso, Jinja, Mbale and Budaka among others .
Mukulu is also indicted for the murder of 2 sheikhs; Dakitoor Muwaya and Yunus Abubakar Mandanga in Mayuge and Bugiri districts respectively and the murder of 2 police officers Muzamir Babale and Karim Tenywa from Bugiri police station .
The group is further said to have robbed guns, ammunition, a gold weighing machine , millions of money and attempting to take away the lives of many people.
Prosecution led by Asst. DPP John Baptist Asiimwe states that Mukulu and the group committed these offenses for either a social , political, economic or religious aim in order to instill fear and panic among the members of public and government at large .
Despite reading of the charges, the group was not allowed to take any plea because the case file will first have to be forwarded to a panel of three justices of the same court who will try the case.
The Judge will now hear final submissions from both the state and the defense teams in order to determine whether the DPP has sufficient evidence sustaining these charges before she confirms them and forwards the case file to the trial panel .
The judge has further given the parties three months to conclude their submissions and adjourned further mentioning of the case to the 26th of April 2019.
The suspects are currently on remand at Luzira prison.
On the 15th of 2018 August 2018, the Director of Public Prosecutions finalized disclosing all its intended evidence and exhibits it will use to pin the former ADF leader Jamilu Mukulu and 37 on charges of terrorism to the defense team to help them prepare for their defense.
Jamilu Mukulu and 37 others including a woman are facing charges of terrorism , murder, crimes against humanity, aiding and abetting terrorism , attempted murder and aggravated robbery.
The group is linked to the famous murder of college students at Kichwamba Technical institute in 1998 , the spate of Muslim clerics’ murders that swept the country between 2015 -2016 and the murder of 2 police officers at Bugiri police station in Busoga.
Mukulu is said to have launched a rebellion against government in which he terrorized people in the Rwenzori region in Western Uganda before he established a base in the forests of DR. Congo.
In January this year, prosecution concluded its investigations into the case and transferred the case file from the Jinja magistrate court to the ICD court for trial in Kampala and also saw Mukulu transferred from Nalufenya detention in Jinja to Luzira Maximu. prison after he was arrested in April 2015 in neighboring Tanzania.
According to prosecution, Mukulu is said to have formed a rebellion the ruling against the government and terrorized people in Rwenzori region in western Uganda before he established his base in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
He is also accused of being behind the different murders of Muslim cleric in Uganda between 2013 and 2015.