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Court rejects witnesses of AMISOM ex-army commander

Storyline:National News

Col. Hassan KimbowaThe General Court Martial in Makindye has rejected nine witnesses of the former commander of UPDF Battle Group 11+ in Somalia Col. Hassan Kimbowa.

Col. Kimbowa is facing charges of selling fuel meant for peacekeeping operations in the Horn of Africa.

At the opening of the defence case, Kimbowa tasked court to issue summons to a number of army officers and the UN coordinator for AMISOM to be witnesses in his case.

These include Maj. Kangwamu (officer prosecuting the case), Brig. Leopold Kyanda, Brig. Michael Ondoga, Lt. Col. Sarah Mpabwa, Maj. Savimbi Tumuhimbise, Capt. Kashakamba, Capt. Munyandekezi, Capt. Kakuru and the UN coordinator for AMISOM.

The nine above named people, excluding Brig. Ondoga and the UN coordinator, constituted the team that investigated the case and later arrested Kimbowa.
The army court chairman Maj. Gen. Levy Karuhanga ruled that they dismissed the application to issue witness summons to any of the members of the team that investigated the case.

“An investigator does not become a vital defence witness simply because he interacted with people at the scene of the crime, made a decision to arrest or visited a scene of crime,” Maj. Gen. Karuhanga explained.

He added that the court is not empowered to summon a diplomatic agent, and he accordingly dismissed the application of summoning the UN coordinator for AMISOM.

“A diplomat cannot give evidence in the courts of a receiving sate,” he said.

Court also allowed the application to issue witness summons to Brig. Michael Ondoga because at that time he was the contingent commander in Somalia.

Col. Kimbowa commanded one of the battle groups that constituted Uganda’s troop contingent in Somalia between June 2013 and February 2014 when he was arrested in the mission area and brought back to Uganda to face charges relating to issuing 2,400 litres of diesel fuel to Somali civilians.

He will go on with his defense on January 6 next year.

Source : New Vision

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