Katanga murder case: Lawyers accuse DPP of coercing suspects to change statements

Katanga murder case: Lawyers accuse DPP of coercing suspects to change statements
Martha Nkwanzi ( front).

Lawyers representing the suspects in the Katanga murder case have turned the tables on the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP), accusing the prosecutors of coercing George Amanyire to backtrack on his statements.

Amanyire is one of the suspects in the high-profile murder trial of businessman Henry Katanga and the lawyers say they are “dismayed by such practices by the DPP".

The defence lawyers led by McDusman Kabega made the revelations during the bail ruling presided over by Justice Isaac Muwata at the High Court on Wednesday.

Four individuals accused of tampering with evidence in the murder case of Katanga have been granted bail.

Patricia Kakwanza and Martha Nkwanzi Katanga, both daughters of the late Katanga, Dr Charles Otai, and domestic worker Amanyire, were granted temporary freedom by the High Court in Kampala, where they had applied for bail.

Speaking after the bail ruling, defence lawyer Jet Tumwebaze said they were relieved that the judge granted bail to the suspects after 15 attempts but expressed dismay at the DPP’s office for coercing one of the suspects Amanyire to backtrack on his statements to pin his co-accused.

“This has been the most adjourned bail application in the history of Uganda but they are glad that the court has finally granted them bail, the accused persons have finally got justice, and we are happy with the decision of the judge"

Tumwebaze said that officers from the DPP’s office have been visiting Amanyire in prison and coercing him to accuse his co-accused.

“We are dismayed by the practice the DPP is engaged in, the DPP has charged people, and by the time they do that it means you have enough evidence, you can not charge someone ( Amanyire), commit them to the High Court for trial, and then begin to change him from Luzira to Kigo, then visit his three times to coerce him to change his statements,” he said.

“This is a poor shamba boy (Amanyire) who does not understand English and they are coercing him every time to change his statements, we are dismayed. We can not believe what is happening to the profession, especially with the DPPS office, what they are doing is despicable,” he added.

Tumwebaze believes that the DPP has no iota of evidence against the accused, which is why the office has resorted to coercing suspects to change their statements. He said that they are ready for the hearing of the case.

Meanwhile, the defence team also confirmed that they would apply for bail for Ms Molly Katanga, the prime suspect in the case by close of business tomorrow.

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