Wakiso, 08th/June/2015; The Chief Magistrate’s Court of Nabweru at Kasangati has on 08th June, dismissed a case in which a Vision Group journalist, Adrian Bbaale Bwanika was accused of disobeying lawful orders of the police.
In her ruling, the Grade One Magistrate, Prossy Katushabe dismissed the case due to failure by the State to turn up in court to produce evidence incriminating the journalist.
Prosecution had alleged that on 02nd September 2014, Bwanika disobeyed lawful orders of a police officer on duty, Detective Assistant Yaye Paul at Kasangati police station in Wakiso District.
Bwanika had gone to the police station to cover the arrest of an alleged fraudulent land dealer, who upon his arrest, was released upon reaching the station and instead the police officers turned against Bwanika and initially accused him of criminal trespass, though later he was charged with disobedience of lawful orders. He was released on bail. His camera and other belongings were destroyed during the violent arrest.
It was a mixed reaction for Bwanika, “At last am happy that justice has been delivered, though the case has taken a lot of time that was not necessary. It was evident from the start that the police did not have evidence to bring against me because the case was a total fabrication.” He told HRNJ-Uganda at Kasangaati.
In a related development, the Law Development Center Magistrate’ Court at Makerere in Kampala has adjourned to 22nd June, 2015 giving its ruling on whether or not there is a case to answer by an Associated Press Correspondent, Mulindwa Mukasa, who the police accuses of disobeying lawful orders.
“HRNJ-Uganda is pleased by the decision taken by the Magistrate to dismiss the case. But it is disheartening that the State has resorted to trumped up charges against journalists as a way of scaring them from critical journalism and thereby silencing them. The police authorities should prevail over such officers who abuse their portfolios to carry out injustice against innocent Ugandans. Thoroughly investigations should be carried out before such matters are taken to court.” said the HRNJ-Uganda National Coordinator Robert Ssempala.