HRNJ-Uganda alert, Investigating Officer testifies in Journalist’s case.

Kampala, 28th May 2014; Further hearing of a case in which a Vision Group Journalist, Mathias Ssebwato Kavubu was allegedly assaulted by a teacher at Old Kampala Secondary School, Ataremwa Justus, continued on Wednesday May 28th at the Law Development Centre Court, with the police investigating officer giving his testimony.

Detective Sergeant, Lauben Matsiko who investigated the case in which Sebwato Mathias the journalist who was allegedly assaulted testified to court presided over by Grade1Magistrate Jolly Nkore, “On 18th October 2012, I was given a file by the then officer-in-charge media and political crimes, Cadet ASP Ashraf Ssendi to carry out an investigation. On perusal of the file, I found out that the complainant was complaining about assault by Ataremwa Justus. As an investigating officer, I issued the complainant with the police medical form to take to the police surgeon for medical examination. When he brought back the form, the injury had been classified as harm”. The investigating officer told court.

He further testified that he went on ground to trace for the witnesses and he managed to get Setimba Joseph, Musinguzi Patrick, Kukunda Samantha and Nimukunda Vanessa. According to the statements he got from the witnesses, they were to the effect that Ataremwa Justus had assaulted the complainant. He thereafter submitted the file to the Resident State Attorney who advised him to charge the accused with common assault.

During cross- examination, defense Counsel, David Mpanga alleged that Ataremwa Justus had reported a case against Mathias Sebwato at Old Kampala Police station as a complainant but was stunned when he turned out to be the accused. However during re- examination, the Investigating officer denied these allegations.

Prosecution alleges that on 17th October 2012, Sebwato, a freelance journalist working with Bukedde television had gone to Old Kampala Secondary School to interview a senior four (4) student who had allegedly been denied permission to sit her UCE exams under unclear circumstances. He successfully interviewed the girls’ parents but when he attempted to interview the student, the accused together with others pounced on him and beat him up, before he was locked up in a room from where he was rescued by Old Kampala police.

The case was adjourned to 30th June 2014 for further hearing, where the final prosecution witness Vanessa Nimukunda is expected to testify.
For More Information Contact;
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Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda (HRNJ-Uganda) is a network of human rights journalists in Uganda working towards enhancing the promotion, protection and respect of human rights through defending and building the capacities of journalists, to effectively exercise their constitutional rights and fundamental freedoms for collective campaigning through the media.