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Uganda police officers charged with kidnap of Kagame bodyguard

KAMPALA – Nine people including seven police officers were yesterday charged by the military court and remanded for kidnapping the former bodyguard of President Paul Kagame in 2013 and handing him over to Rwanda where he is serving  life sentence.

The military court-martial that sat on Friday in Kampala, heard that the police officers extradited Joel Mutabazi in 2013 back to Rwanda against his will.

“While in possession of fire arms, grenades you kidnapped and conveyed a one Joel Mutabazi to the Republic of Rwanda,” Lt Gen Andrew  Guti said. The Chairman of the General Court Martial Lt Gen Andrew Guti told court. The officers were charged along with one Congolese and a Rwandan

They were charged under 2005 UPDF Act Section 119 which provides that any person in possession of arms that are supposed to be a monopoly of the military will face martial law.

Lt Mutabazi, who had been given a refugee status, fled Rwanda in 2010 over alleged political persecution. But Rwanda government accused him of trying to assassinate President Kagame.

The accused officers are: Senior Commissioner of Police Joel Aguma, Senior Superintendent of Police Nixon Agasirwe, Sgt Abel Tumukunde, James Magada, and Assistant Inspector of Police Benon Atwebembeire, Special Police Constable Faisal Katende and Cpl Amon Kwarisima.

Rene Rutagungira, a Rwandan national and Bahati Mugenga Irunga, a Congolese were also charged with the Kidnap.  Mr Rutagungira was arrested in September by the Military intelligence from a bar in Bakuli.

The suspects were remanded to Makindye military barracks and Kigo prisons until November 20, 2017 when the court will hear their objection to be tried by the military court.

Their lawyer, Caleb Alaka challenged the jurisdiction of the court martial to try the police officers and the two foreigners.

“The first issue we have issues is the jurisdiction of this court and charges against my clients which violate their constitutional rights,” he said.

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