The Director of Public Prosecution-DPP Mike Chibita has withdrawn charges against Assistant Commissioner of Police, Siraje Bakaleke and seven others before the Anti-Corruption Court in Kampala.
The other suspects are City Lawyer, Paul Wanyoto Mugoya, Samuel Nabeta Mulowooza, the Managing Director Eye Power Engineering Company and Police officers, Robert Munezero, Innocent Nuwagaba, Robert Ray Asiimwe, Junior Amanya, Babu Gastavas and Kenneth Zirintuusa.
The State Prosecutor, Harriet Ongom presented the DPP’s letter before the Anti-Corruption Grade one Magistrate, Moses Nabende withdrawing the charges. The letter however, doesn’t indicate why the DPP has lost interest in the matter.
The suspects have been battling charges of embezzlement, abuse of office, obtaining money by false pretense, conspiracy to defraud, kidnapping with intention to confine and conspiracy to commit a felony.
After receiving the letter, Nabende dropped the charges and advised the suspects through their lawyer Cyrus Mugabi to obtain the deposits they paid during their bail application last year. The suspects led by Wanyoto left court excited, saying the matter had occupied most of their time.
Details of the case are that between February 4th and 11th, 2018 in Kampala, the suspects wrongly arrested and defrauding Park Seunghoon and Jang Shingu, both South Korean nationals and defrauded them of Shillings 1.4billion. The South Koreans had traveled to Uganda looking for gold.
All suspects with the exception of Bakaleke and Wanyoto pleaded not guilty to the charges. While Wanyoto appeared before court he didn’t plead to the charges, Bakaleke went into hiding and is still at large. The two had previously petitioned High court seeking to block their trial on grounds that the DPP instituted charges against them in bad faith before finalizing with investigations.
However, High court Justice Lydia Mugambe and Musa Ssekaana ordered the suspects to face trial in different judgment, saying they didn’t have powers to interfere with the work of the Director of Public Prosecution.
In 2018, Police declared Bakaleke a deserter when he went into hiding because of the charges. Last month, Police declared Bakaleke wanted. It is unclear whether or not he will now show up following the withdrawal of the charges.