The International Court Division of the High Court in Uganda's capital, Kampala has sentenced six terrorism suspects to life imprisonment.
Among them is the leader of Tabliq Sect in Uganda Sheikh Mohammad Yunus Kamoga, Sheikh Siraje Kawooya, Sheikh Murta Mudde Bukenya, and Sheikh Fahad Kalungi.
The court, presided over by a panel of three justices also sentenced two others to 30 years in jail for terror related charges terming the two as "mere followers and not leaders" unlike Sheikh Kamoga and his colleagues.
But, Justice Muhanguzi said the two convicts have a right to appeal within 14 days. Their lawyer Fred Muwema said he would appeal and called for calm.
While sentencing the four to life imprisonment, Justice Muhanguzi said terrorism is a serious offence.
“It is a very serious offence. It has attained global attention. It has devastating impact on individuals, communities and in some cases the environment,” he said. “Hence, it’s very necessary to protect society from the perpetrators of this offence.”
He said: “They [Kamoga and others] deserve such a sentence to keep them away from society and to deter others who would want to commit such an offence.”
The Court on Monday found out that they committed the terrorism crimes by printing fliers with the names of those targeted to be killed inscribed on them and distributed in mosques, holding meetings in their homes from where they planned the killings, sending of WhatsApp messages with pictures of graves, coffins, bullets to their rival groups.
They had however been cleared of the murder of the Muslim leaders, but the terrorism charge was later applied.