The High Court in Kampala Tuesday July 12, granted bail former presidential candidate Dr Kizza Besigye, 24 hours after the decision had been deferred.
High Court judge Justice Wilson Masalu Musene delivered his ruling which on Monday had been deferred pending court’s verification of the applicant’s age.
In his ruling, delivered amidst tight security at the High Court, Justice Masalu Musene cited the legal provision that unless one has confessed to the crime, the accused person is innocent until proven guilty.
In addition, court said that on his conduct past and present, Dr Besigye fulfilled the conditions for bail.
“The accused person religiously attended court in previous cases in honour of bail conditions…the applicant has proved on oath that he is 60 years old which is advanced age. There was no rebuttal.”
Dr Besigye who contested the February 18 presidential election – his fourth time as a candidate, three of those as a flagbearer for the largest opposition political party Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) – was arrested on May 11 and flown to the remote district of Moroto in the Karamoja sub region.
Dr Besigye’s arrest came after he beat 24-hour surveillance by security at his house in Kasangati, north of Kampala, to appear down town, just one day before president Yoweri Museveni was sworn in for his fifth term. On the same day, a video in which he was swearing in as president was released and went viral.
The Electoral Commission on February 20, declared president Museveni as winner of the February 18 presidential election and Besigye as the runner-up, a declaration that FDC party rejected and held that their candidate won the election.