UGANDA, Gulu | Real Muloodi News | Maj. Travers Kibuuka, the former 2nd in command of the UPDF 71st battalion, who has been facing charges of torturing civilians in the Apaa land-grabbing case, has been granted bail by the Fourth Infantry Division Court Martial in Gulu City.
The court martial charged Maj. Kibuuka, 38, with two counts of assault and occasioning bodily harm, as well as insubordinate behaviour.
The prosecution alleges that on April 9, 2023, at Apaa Village, Itirikwa Sub-County, Adjumani District, Maj. Kibuuka and co-accused Private Yusuf Mawa assaulted Juliet Anzoa and Beatrice Lokua, causing them serious bodily injuries.
Additionally, the charge of insubordination is based on the claim that Maj. Kibuuka undermined his supervisor, the Commanding Officer of the 71st Battalion, by deploying troops without informing him.
Both Maj. Kibuuka and Private Yusuf Mawa, who has been in remand at Gulu Main Prison since June 5, denied the charges when they appeared before Col. George Nambafu, the Chairperson of the Fourth Division Court Martial.
An earlier bail application had been denied by the court, citing the presentation of civilians as sureties for the accused.
However, on Friday, the suspects’ lawyer, James Onen of Conrad Oroya Advocates, returned to court with two senior UPDF officers as sureties for the applicants.
Maj. Telesphor Turyamumanya, the Fourth Infantry Division Spokesperson, and Maj. Justus Asimwe Kyatoka stood as sureties for Maj. Kibuuka and Private Mawa.
Onen argued that Maj. Kibuuka deserved bail due to deteriorating health conditions, including severe typhoid, discovered during his time in prison.
He also highlighted the need for bail to facilitate alternative dispute resolution with the victims.
The state prosecutor, Captain Augustine Tumwebaze, objected to the bail request, citing missing details of the sureties.
However, after careful consideration of the defence lawyer’s submission, Col. Nambafu granted bail to the applicants.
The conditions set for their bail included restricted movements outside Gulu District, respect for the rule of sub-judice, and expediting the alternative dispute resolution process.
Maj. Kibuuka and Private Mawa are scheduled to return to court on August 1 for the hearing of count two, which involves the charge of insubordination against Maj. Kibuuka.
The case continues to be closely monitored, given its significant implications in the Apaa land-grabbing dispute.
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