Kyadondo East MP, Robert Kyagulanyi (Bobi Wine) has been charged with treason and remanded to prison by the Gulu Chief Magistrates Court.
On Thursday, the military court dropped charges of illegal possession of a fire arm and ammunition earlier labelled against Bobi Wine and declared him free, only for Police to arrest him shortly after the court session.
He was then driven by Police to the Gulu magistrate’s court where fresh charges of treason were read to him.
Prosecution alleges that Bobi Wine together with over 30 other suspects including MPs Gerald Karuhanga, Paul Mwiru, Kassiano Wadri on August 13 at Arua municipality and other places with intent to do harm to the President unlawfully threw stones thereby hitting and smashing the hind window of one of the vehicles in the convoy.
“You are charged with treason contrary to Article 23 subsection 1 of the Penal Code Act,” said the Magistrate.
However, the accused could not enter plea since treason is a capital offence and the court does not have the jurisdiction to try such a case.
The defence however asked court to order for urgent medical attention to be accorded to Bobi Wine and some other suspects who remain in bad physical shape due to the brutality they were subjected to during their arrest.
Medard Ssegona, the lawyer to Bobi Wine and other accused persons said he (Bobi Wine) has been tortured and brutalized and thus required to be remanded to a health facility.
“Considering the physical and emotional torture he has endured since he was detained on August 13, and that he hasn’t received treatment but only pain killers, our prayer is that due to his state of health, he be remanded to a hospital,” Ssegona said.
Bobi Wine attended both the army court proceedings and those at the magistrate’s court while sitting as he could not stand. He had been helped by his wife and prisons officers to walk to and from the vehicle.
“We do not object to him being guarded by prison authorities as he receives treatment,” the lawyer told court.
The defence further told court that despite the order last week to prison authorities to avail much needed medical care to other suspects who were badly tortured, this has not been done. These suspects included a one Night Asala who was reportedly releasing blood through her private parts last week and could not walk by herself.
“We request that they be referred to a private health facility in the region. Fairness requires you try a person who is alive and in a position to defend themselves,” Ssegona said.
However, prosecution said that there was no evidence to show that the said suspects were indeed in need of such medical care. The prosecution side however added that in case a need arises, the prison authorities have the capacity to treat such suspects or refer them to another facility for the same.
In its ruling, court orders that the affected suspects be given medical treatment.
“I believe courts as custodians of justice can not sit back as the health of accused persons deteriorates. I order that the accused be allowed access to medical doctors or be taken to the necessary facilities,” the magistrate said.
Bobi Wine has been remanded until August 30 when he will together with the other suspects be produced again before court.