Human Rights Network for Journalists–Uganda (HRNJ-Uganda) is delighted that an independent journalist, Timothy Kalyegira Nyakahuuma, has finally regained his freedom after five years of battling with criminal defamation trial where he was accused of defaming the President of Uganda.
On 30th September 2015, the Grade One Magistrate at City Hall Court, Kampala Moses Nabende dismissed criminal defamation charges brought against Mr. Kalyegira for failure by the State to adduce evidence in court for the last five years.
The Magistrate noted that there was “no strong and convincing reason” to continue with the case, and therefore dismissed it. Kalyegira was dragged to court in 2010 when prosecution alleged that on the 12th and 16th of July 2010, with intent to defame the person of the President of the Republic of Uganda, he unlawfully published in an online paper The Uganda Records, that President Yoweri Museveni was responsible for the bomb blasts that occurred at Kyaddondo Rugby ground and the Ethiopian Village at Kabalagala.
In 2013, Kalyegira challenged his trial in the High Court of Uganda claiming that The Uganda Records where the alleged defamatory statements appeared was a cyber space publication not envisaged within the definition of the law. However, Justice Lameka N. Mukasa rejected this reasoning, hat “any information typed on computers and posted is conveyed by cyber space to be read by whoever has access to the internet and can be printed out for further circulation”.
Read a Press Release here