Mbarara Grade One magistrate has issued criminal summons against former Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) president Dr Kizza Besigye and four others for failing to appear in court for hearing of a case in which they are accused of assaulting a police officer and inciting violence.
Ms Sanyu Mukasa on Friday said she could not continue with the hearing of the case because both the state attorney and the accused persons were absent.
‘’I am unable to proceed; I do not have the state attorney and the accused are not in court. Criminal summons will be issued to the accused to appear on August 9,’’ Ms Mukasa said.
One of Besigye’s attorney, Ms Lydia Ahimbisibwe said the accused persons who include FDC president Patrick Amuriat Oboi, Secretary for mobilization Ingrid Turinawe Kamateneti, Kawempe south MP Mubaraka Munyagwa and Besigye’s driver Fred Kato did not appear in court because they were attending party meetings.
‘’Your worship I have just been informed by my clients (Besigye and co-accused) that they are attending party meetings and they are unable to come,’’ Ms Ahimbisibwe said.
They are accused of inciting violence, malicious damage and assault, which charges police claim were committed on November 14, 2017.
On May 10, 2019, Dr. Besigye denied all the charges before adding that the charges are meant to frustrate dissent voices but vowed to use the same charges to expose the state.
‘’We shall continue to expose them as is being done in court but we have never incited anybody. We have never caused violence to anyone. It is the regime that is violent,’’ Dr Besigye said then.