Besigye rape case dismissed after 12 years

Thursday July 12 2018

Dr Kizza Besigye, Uganda's main opposition leader

Dr Kizza Besigye, Uganda's main opposition leader. The country's DPP has withdrawn an appeal challenging the acquittal Dr Besigye over an alleged rape. AFP PHOTO | ISAAC KASAMANI 

By CHARLES M. MPAGI
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Uganda’s Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has withdrawn an appeal challenging the acquittal of main opposition leader Kizza Besigye over an alleged rape.

In a letter to the registrar of the Court of Appeal dated July 9, Senior Assistant DPP David Ndamurani said his office did not intend to proceed with the appeal.

“Take notice that the Director of Public Prosecutions, appellant in Court of Appeal criminal appeal No.06 of 2006 arising from original High Court criminal session case No. 149/2005, intends not to proceed with the prosecution of this appeal pursuant to Rule 70 (1) of the Judicature (Court of Appeal) directions,” reads in part of the withdrawal notice.

To that effect, presiding assistant registrar Ayebare Tumwebaze ruled to dismiss the rape appeal against the four-time presidential runner up.

Dr Besigye was not in court during the ruling.

In 2006, then High Court judge John Bosco Katutsi acquitted Dr Besigye prior to the 2006 presidential vote in which Dr Besigye was a contender.

The judge, at the time, said the prosecution had been "crude and amateurish".

The rape charge was levelled by a “relative” who in her testimony told the court that Dr Besigye was her guardian and housed her at his home in Luzira in 1997 after completing her A- Levels.

The alleged victim disappeared shortly after court dismissed the case.

Dr Besigye’s lawyer Ladislaus Rwakafuuzi, said the government to make a public apology to his client.