Two police officers to spend 14 years in jail over murder

Two officers convicted of murdering a suspect in a police cell have been sentenced to 18 years imprisonment each.

However, four civilians convicted of the same offence were given a sentence of 14 years imprisonment each.

While delivering his judgment in a case whose hearing started in 2014, Mr David Batema, the resident Judge for Soroti, said the two police officers, James Ajotu and Emmanuel Enyutu, did not show any remorse in in the death of Paul Opolot who had been detained at Kyere police cells on January 12, 2014.

Opolot had been detained over charges of defilement.
Mr Batema in his ruling also found the area GISO David Ekellu, Moses Okwi, Christine Betty Acham and James Okodi guilty of murdering Opolot by strangulation in the police cells.

However, the judge added that their sentence would be reduced by four years they had spent on remand. This therefore, means that each of the police officers would serve 14 years in prison while their co-convicts would spend 10 years in imprison each.

“Court found that Opolot was strangled in the cell after his mother failed to pay Shs3 million to the complainants, Okwi and his wife Acham whose daughter he (Opolot) had allegedly defiled,” the judge said.

“The deceased was stealthily forced into an HIV test by the convicts who jointly participated in the withdrawal of blood samples for medical examination in the absence of the deceased’s relatives and later strangled him,” he added.

He said an independent postmortem report disagreed with the earlier postmortem by police which had stated that Opolot had committed suicide.

However, Ekellu, Okwi, Acham and Okodi have vowed to appeal the judgment, saying they were placed at the crime scene yet they are not police officers.

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