By Kevin Patrice
There was drama in court on Thursday 16 when jailed former Allied Democratic Forces rebel leader Jamil Mukulu protested the choice of International Crimes Division Court Judge Susan Okalany presiding over his bail application and asked that she steps down on grounds that she is biased and anti-Muslim.
Mukulu, had at first wanted to make a complaint against the Officer In charge of Luzira prison but turned the guns against Justice Okalany when he demanded to know whether she was the right person to complain to.
No sooner had the Judge mentioned her name, than Jamil Mukulu started accusing her of being biased and cannot hear his application indicating that 3 years ago the said judge was quoted to have said she feared that Muslims outside prison who have access to him (Mukulu) could hurt her.
Mukulu alleged that the said statements were published in the Newspapers but the Judge said was not privy to such allegations.
However, the Judge said she was surprised that Mukulu’s complaint was not channeled through his Lawyers yet they were present in court. She therefore asked Mukulu to follow the right procedure and make his complaint formal otherwise mere utterances in court would not compel a judicial officer to abdicate his/her duty.
Mukulu was appearing before the High court in Kampala via video conferencing from Luzira prison.
Meanwhile, hearing of his bail application has been adjourned to 6th/August/2020 to allow Prosecution prepare a response to whether Mukulu should be temporarily released on bail.
Mukulu who has been in prison for five years now, wants to be temporarily released pending his trial on charges of terrorism , murder, aggravated robbery and belonging to a terrorism organisation -ADF.
Mukulu says he is 56 years of advanced age and there is a high likelihood of delay of his trial yet he has substantial sureties like his 74 year old Biological Mother, Nakiyemba Aisha of Ntooke LC1 Bukolooto Parish in Kayunga District, Sisters, a Son named Musa Ddumba and Brother in Law Haji Juma Lubega of Kanisa Zone in Makindye Division where he intends to stay if his application is considered.
Mukulu further argues that despite having been committed and 19 charges confirmed for his trial; he is still presumed innocent until proven guilty and since all his travel documents are in the custody of the state, he posses no flight risk once released on bail.