News and Announcements (12)

ODPP, with support from the Justice, Law and Order Sector (JLOS) held the 1st Memorial Lecture in honor of the slain Senior Principal State Attorney, JOAN NAMAZZI KAGEZI at Imperial Royale Hotel Conference Hall on 28th of April 2016

The theme of the Lecture was “Fighting Terrorism and organized crime”

and the Lecture was delivered by Advocate Shaun Abrahams, the National Director of Public Prosecutions of South Africa.

  

The Directorate set up the War Crimes and Terrorism Department

 

Ms. Joan Kagezi, was the 1st head of the Department of War Crimes and Terrorism, which was set up in 2008, in a bid to strengthen the efforts of the ODPP in fighting terrorism. It adopted a prosecution led investigations strategy to ensure that evidence secured was reliable, dependable and admissible in court. This involved working with the investigators right from the commencement of the case, giving direction to the investigations, identifying the critical legal issues and ensuring that charges are supported by cogent evidence.

 

Joan’s work as head of the Department saw her involved in the handling of many cases of terrorism, notable among them was the July 2010 Bombings case where about 76 people lost their lives and scores more were injured. The Al shabaab took responsibility for the bombings.  Investigations confirmed their involvement in the training, financing and participation in the bombings at Kyadondo rugby club and the Ethiopian village. After a complex investigation in which she was closely involved, 15 suspects were produced in court and charged for various terrorism offenses. It was during the prosecution of this case that Joan was tragically shot down on the 30th of March 2015.

 

She was also handling several cases involving the terrorist killings of Muslim clerics in the country, international human trafficking and war crimes including the Kwoyelo case. The latter was in respect of atrocities committed during the LRA Northern Conflict in the country. 

Joan was a hardworking and diligent prosecutor, skilled in the art of prosecution and had a strong determination to see justice delivered. 

Investigations into her murder are still ongoing.

The Rationale of hosting the memorial lecture

The lecture under the theme “Fighting terrorism and Organized crime” was intended to draw the attention of the Public to the nature of threat posed by terrorism, the different forms of terrorism offenses and to educate them on the mechanisms so far adopted nationally and internationally. It was in honor of the Late Joan Kagezi’s contribution to the fight against terrorism.

Terrorism in Uganda

Uganda has experienced several acts of terrorism perpetrated through the Lord’s Resistance Army in the northern part of the country, the Allied Democratic Front (ADF) operating mostly from the western part of the country and even from the Al shabaab militant group which staged attacks on the people of Uganda in response to Uganda’s support for the AMISOM.

Uganda and the East African region is vulnerable to terrorist activity.

Measures to combat terrorism include strengthening the Directorate’s capacity to handle cases and prosecute them successfully, sharing of information, intelligence and evidence across borders and joining efforts to work together with police, security agencies, the army, the public, international organizations and other States.

Other measures include improving identification, seizure, freezing and preservation of assets of terrorists and terrorist organizations and ability to convert intelligence information into evidence. Terrorists are covert actors whose actions result into mass murder and mass destruction.  Use of surveillance and undercover officers then become necessary. Intelligence is a primary tool to ensure that terrorist plans are stopped before taking place.

CALL TO THE PUBLIC

The public is a very important stakeholder in the fight against terrorism. The first weapon against terrorism is the individual. Their eyes, their senses and their perceptions can be used to detect and combat terrorism. It was crucial therefore that the public is engaged by creating public understanding of the many faces of terrorism, and educating them of " title="Image" href="http://www.dpp.go.ug/administrator/index.php?option=com_media&view=images&tmpl=component&e_name=text&asset=com_k2&author=" rel="{handler: 'iframe', size: {x: 800, y: 500}}"> Image Page Break Read More

 
 
 

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KAMPALA, 27 April, 2016 – The Government of Uganda and UNICEF have today launched a child-friendly justice handbook to guide  prosecutors and other actors in the criminal justice system,  in handling child-related  cases in a child-friendly and gender responsive manner.  

The handbook is produced by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) with technical and financial support from UNICEF as well as financial support from the Justice Law and Order Sector. The UK government provided financial support to the process through UNICEF. The handbook will be used by prosecutors and other state as well as non-state actors and institutions in the criminal justice system.

“The handbook is an excellent guide in improving the delivery of justice to children, strengthening child protection structures and helping build a protective environment for children. It will subsequently lead to the rehabilitation and reintegration of children in conflict with the law,” says Mike Chibita, the Director of Public Prosecutions.

According to the Justice Law and Order Sector (JLOS) Annual Report 2013, there were 1,256 juvenile offenders in the year 2011-12. In 2012, the Uganda Police Force arrested an average of six juveniles per 100,000 of the child population.

More often than not, prior to sentencing, child offenders are held with adults, due to lack of separate holding facilities at police stations, which increases the risk of violence, abuse and exploitation. The conditions of detention are sometimes sub-standard, overcrowded and deny children their rights, such as the right to legal representation, parental access, and appropriate standards of health. Detention rarely results in the child’s reintegration and the child assuming a constructive role in society, which should be the objective of any justice intervention in line with the Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC).

In addition, children’s cases are often processed through justice systems designed for adults that are not adapted to children’s rights and specific needs. 

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) which Uganda signed, ratified and domesticated recognises the importance of child friendly justice. In addition, the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child also highlights the right of the African child to special treatment in a manner consistent with the child's sense of dignity and worth and which reinforces the child's respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms of others. It prohibits child labour and harmful cultural practices that put children at risk. At national level, the Constitution of Uganda sets out rights of children, including of those in conflict with the law. The Children’s Act Cap 59 further makes specific provision on the processes of arrest and charging, pre-trial detention and hearings, adopting the child rights based approach.

However, despite the existence of the mentioned legal frameworks, the justice system in Uganda is still faced with severe constraints especially as far as child protection and justice is concerned. With the existing system, children are marginalised by the limited application of a child-rights based approach by relevant institutions charged with child justice and inadequate systems and procedures for justice for children.

Regarding sexual violence, Uganda is a signatory to international and regional instruments on Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) which include the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948, the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women, the Beijing Declaration and Platform of Action, 1995, the Great Lakes Protocol on the Prevention and Suppression of Sexual Violence Against Women and Children 2009, the SADC addendum on the Prevention and Eradication of Violence Against Women and Children (Addendum to the SADC Declaration on Gender and Development). The Government of Uganda has undertaken steps to address sexual violence by enacting a gender sensitive constitution and drafting laws that prohibit violence against women and children, including the 2007 Penal Code Amendment Act No. 8, the Domestic Violence Act, the Prevention of Trafficking in Persons Act 2009 and The Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation Act 2010.

Despite these efforts on the legislative front, the criminal justice system’s response to gender-based violence falls short of the country’s international regional and national obligations to prevent violence against children and women and to ensure their access to justice. Perpetrators still escape prosecution and punishment for their crimes. Delays in the investigation, prosecution and adjudication of SGBV crimes, poor case handling methods including exhibit mishandling, poor statement recording, outdated evidential admission requirements to name but a few, lead to poor case outcomes. The lowly response of the criminal justice system to the determination of SGBV cases is reflected in the ODPP performance statistics. For example, the DPP 2015 statistics show that the total number of defilement cases handled that year was 26,900. 8,176 of these were newly registered cases. About 8,000 of these cases were being mentioned in court, meaning that investigations in these cases were still ongoing. About 7,800 cases were under prosecution and only 1197 cases were concluded.

“No matter how children come into contact with judicial or non-judicial proceedings, their rights have to be protected from the time they enter into the formal justice system to completion,” Ms. Noreen Prendiville, UNICEF Deputy Representative in Uganda, emphasized.

As part of the process of the development of the handbook, the Director of Public Prosecutions appointed a task force consisting of prosecutors and members of the ODPP policy unit that conducted field consultations, which identified gaps and challenges in the implementation of a child friendly criminal justice system. The consultative meetings established that one of the main problems faced by prosecutors, adjudicators and investigators was the failure to understand and therefore apply the concept of “child friendly justice”.

What is Child-Friendly Justice?

Child-Friendly Justice refers to justice systems which guarantee the respect and the effective implementation of all children’s rights. The key issues for consideration in determining whether or not an intervention is child-friendly are:

-          Is this proposed action in the best interests of the children?

-          Does it safeguard their life and survival and actively contribute to their development?

-          Is it taking into consideration the needs of all children, without discrimination against particular groups?

-          Are there adequate resources available?


In summary this concept requires that children in contact with the law either as victims, witnesses or those in conflict with the law, be handled in a way that is humane and which recognises their legal and physical vulnerabilities. Such a system should be adapted to and focused on the needs of the child.

This hand book therefore delves into the subjects of child friendly justice, diversion, child age determination, detention of children, evidence of children, statement taking, and working with child victims and witnesses of Sexual and Gender Based Violence Crimes as well as the child justice institutional set up and mandates. It provides child justice practitioners with the basic tools of how to handle children in contact with the law.

“UNICEF pledges to continue working with the Government to promote the strengthening of all parts of the child protection system, including the justice mechanisms, to operate in the best interest of the child,” Ms. Prendiville concluded.

About UNICEF
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

Friday, 18 December 2015 00:00

Victim’s Rights and Victim Centered Approach

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Victim’s Rights and Victim centered approach

The Directorate through the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has engaged a consultant to develop a Victim-centered approach to address victim’s rights.

The Directorate is spearheading an initiative to introduce a victim rights-centered approach to its work. This was unveiled at the consultative workshop held at Golf Course Lane on the 7th of December 2015 between DPP staff and members of the (OHCHR).

The Directorate will embark on building the DPP’s Victims’ Rights policy, ensuring that sensitivity is shown to victims’ plight and that the rights and interests of the victim are protected when engaging with the DPP’s office.

 

As part of this initiative the DPP plans on expanding the complaints desk at the headquarters and in all field stations countrywide, to include a victims’ rights Unit which will be the mechanism for effective response to the needs of victims. These desk officers will be responsible to maintain contact with victims, update them on their cases, refer them to other appropriate agencies for further handling and guide them on the legal process pertaining to their case file.

 

 

 

Compiled by;

Irene Nakimbugwe

Deputy Public Relations officer - DPP

Friday, 18 December 2015 00:00

The Anti-Corruption week

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Anti Corruption week

The Anti- Corruption week slated for 1st- 4th December 2015 was organized by Ministry of Ethics and Integrity under the theme; Break the syndicate of corruption. The activities kicked off by a marching parade with Uganda Prisons band from the Parliamentary grounds to City Square and then back to Parliamentary grounds. The agencies which participated in the march included, but not limited to; The Directorate of public prosecutions, Auditor General, Inspectorate of Government and the Anti Corruption Coalition- Uganda among others.

The march was flagged off by the Chief Walker, the 3rd Premier Kirunda Kivenjija who during his speech commended all the agencies for the good work and encouraged everyone to step up the fight.  

The week was crowned with an exhibition at the Anti- Corruption Court in Kololo, where agencies show cased what they had so far accomplished in the fight against corruption. The Directorate was represented by the Deputy Dpp- Mr. Amos Ngolobe who in his speech outlined the achievements of the Directorate in the fight against corruption, especially in plea bargaining were colossal sums of money have been recovered from accused persons.

 

Compiled by;

Irene Nakimbugwe

Deputy Public Relations officer - DPP

Team bonding

The Director of Public Prosecutions Justice Mike Chibita visited the regions of Mbarara and Masaka on the 27th and 28th of November 2015 respectively.

The theme of the event was team building.

On 27th November, all staff under the regional office of Mbarara converged at Igongo Culture center. Mr. John Baptist Asiimwe, the Regional officer welcomed everyone to Mbarara. And  on 28th the team met at Tropic Inn Hotel and the staff under Masaka region were welcomed by Mr. Simon Semalemba  Both regional officers enlightened the DPP about the successes and challenges of the region since inception.

The Director Justice Mike Chibita in his speech inspired all staff members to strive to do better for good things are yet to come. The guest speaker, Mr. Paul Kyama encouraged people to embrace change and to blossom wherever they are planted in both professional and personal lives.

The A.g Asst DPP, Mr. Vincent Wagona told members about restructuring and how it is beneficial to all staff.

In the afternoon, members gathered outdoors for a question and answer session which was very informative and hilarious. The day was wound up with a cocktail which was also well attended by stake holders of the justice system.

 

Compiled by;

Irene Nakimbugwe

Deputy Public Relations officer - DPP

HIV/ AIDS is not only a health problem but a development problem because it targets the most treasured resource in the workplace, i.e. the human resource.

For this reason the HIV/ Aids committee was set up as an initiative of the President’s office and Uganda Aids Commission to support Government’s program of addressing HIV issues at the workplace, among several of the interventions being the annual celebration of the HIV AIDs commemoration day. This year’s celebrations were held at the office of the Resident State Attorney, Nakawa on Friday 10th of July 2015.  

The Director of Public Prosecutions, Mike J. Chibita, called on the staff to take advantage of the available opportunity to receive counseling and test for HIV as “knowledge is power”. Most of the Directorate’s workforce are at a vulnerable stage and need proper information in order to take the right decisions concering their health. 

The core concerns of the DPP HIV AIDS Committee are:

  1. Know your status
  2. A stigma free working environment
  3. Zero discrimination 
  4. Care and support programs

The Committee participates in celebrations of both National and International HIV events, is involved in monitoring and carrying out support supervision in DPP field stations, distribution of literature and condoms and is currently reviewing the DPP policy on HIV and AIDS.

In partnership with Uganda Aids Commission and Uganda Cares, the staff received the following free services:

  1. HIV Counselling and testing
  2. Cervical cancer screening
  3. Hepatitis B testing
  4. Checking of body mass index

There was also a motivational talk from Dr. Watiti Stephen who took the staff through the current trends in HIV.

The Chair of the Committee is Ms. Caroline Hope Nabaasa, an Ag. Assistant DPP and Regional Officer for Nakawa.

 

Plea bargaining experts visit the Directorate for follow up discussions on the project:

The office of the DPP hosted experts from Pepperdine University on Wednesday, 8th of July 2015 at 2.30 p.m. for a follow up discussion with State Attorneys on the use of plea bargaining in the criminal justice system.

The Experts led by Professor Jim Gash, fielded questions from the Attorneys regarding various aspects of the plea bargaining pilot project that is under implementation by the Judiciary and in which the Directorate is an active player.

Some of the issues discussed related to the use of plea bargaining as an investigative tool, how the prosecutors can incorporate the aspect of compensation within the plea agreements and the role of the prosecutors as representatives of the victims of crime.

The meeting was a follow up to the 1st plea bargaining conference that was held the previous day at Imperial Royale Hotel. Visit the JLOS Website on www.jlos.go.ug for further information on this.

Wednesday, 01 July 2015 00:00

EXTRADITION OF JAMIL MUKULU

Jamil Mukulu, currently 61 was born in Ntoke village Ntenjeru Sub County, Kayunga District.

Though originally catholic by faith, he later converted to Islam and finally formed Allied Democratic Front (ADF) rebel group in 1989 to fight and overthrow government and citing what he described as discrimination against Muslims in Uganda. He’s a fluent speaker of Arabic, Swahili and English and very fine orator who can move and convene crowds to follow him.

At the time, he was considered the overall leader of the salaf section of Tabliq Muslims.  This propelled him to prominence at the time when he engaged with police in running battle in fight against the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council at Old Kampala which left several policemen and police dogs dead.

The formation of ADF saw this group commit a series of attacks and atrocities against Uganda which included the following;

(i)    1986 attack on Mponde trading centre in Kasese which left several Ugandans dead.

(ii)    10/10/1997 two teachers were abducted and killed by ADF in Bugoya Sub county Kasese.

(iii)    31/10/1997 – Abducted 19 students from St. Johns Seminary Kasese.

(iv)    8/06/1990, ADF attacked Kichwamba technical college, killing 80 students and abducting over 80.

(v)    By August 11, 1998, a total of over 366 children in Kasese were reported to be have abducted by ADF.

(vi)    11/12/1999 ADF attacked UPDF barracks in Bundibugyo, releasing 365 inmates from Katojo prison in Fort portal.  4 UPDF soldiers were killed in this attack.

(vii)    17/01/2000, 25 people were massacred and 17 injured when ADF attacked Kirindi IDP camp in Bundibugyo.

(viii)    January 15, 2015 investigation by police into a wave of murders of Muslim religious leaders and robberies in Busoga region linked suspects arrested to ADF.  It was also established that killings were sectarian in nature and carried by salaf sect  (ADF linked) gangs against Muslims of other sects who were referred to as ‘snakes’

MULTIPLE IDENTITIES
JAMIL MUKULU has been on the security radar for a long while, since formation of the ADF rebel group in 1989.  He, however, managed to elude security by use of over 10 different passports, names, and facial identities.  In some of the facial identities, he uses lenses, bald heads, etc.

He holds passports for several countries including Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Britain etc.  He also holds and uses a variety of names in various passports mentioned above which include the following;
-    Jamil Alilabaki
-    Lwanga Tomas Musisi
-    Kityo James Musoke
-    Jjungu Abdallah
-    Jjunju Abdalla (Kenyan driver’s permit)
-    Nyanzi Yafesi Phillip
-    Lumu Nicholas
-    Jalius Mashairi – Tanzanian citizen
-    Kalamire Patanguli – British
-    David Amos Mazengo – Tanzania

RED NOTICE
Following the commission of the above listed atrocities and others within Uganda and DR Congo, a red Notice was issued by Interpol against JAMIL MUKULU in February 2011, putting him on the global list of the most wanted.

In October 2011, the US Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control froze all Mukulu’s assets and banned its citizens from any dealings with him.

LINKS TO AL-SHABAAB
The United Nations report of 2012 on armed forces in the DR Congo clearly linked ADF to Al-Shabaab and Al-Qaeda terror groups.

It should be noted that the ADF is listed in the scheduling of the Anti-terrorism Act of Uganda as a terrorist organisation.

ARREST IN TANZANIA
Early this year, Jamil Mukulu was arrested in Daresalaam Tanzania and has since been detained.

Following the arrest of JAMIL MUKULU by the Tanzanian authorities, the Ugandan government filed an extradition request for his return to Uganda to stand trial for atrocities committed.

The extradition request specifically singled out 7 Counts of murder relating to recent attacks in Busoga for Muslim leaders.

After protracted trial, the Principal Resident Magistrate of Kisutu Magistrates Court in Daresalaam His worship Cyprian Mkeha, on 25/06/2015, granted the Extradition order to the Attorney General of Tanzania at the request of the Ugandan Government.

However, the grant of this extradition order was subjected to another order for appeal.  The fugitive was permitted to appeal and exhaust this process before he is returned to Uganda.

JAMIL MUKULU’s defence lawyer Mr Martin Rwehumbizi is expected to file a notice of appeal within the 15 days granted by the trial magistrate, courted from 25/06/2015.

It’s expected that this appeal will run through all the appeal courts up to the court of Appeal of the United Republic of Tanzania, which is the highest appellate courts.

This process may last for several months.

Preparations to resume the first trial of an ex rebel commander of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) for serious crimes committed in a war situation are underway following the long awaited decision of the Supreme Court in Constitutional Appeal No.1 of 2012, Attorney General V Thomas Kwoyelo delivered on 8th April 2015. It is a historical trial which presents opportunities and challenges for the Ugandan criminal justice system and lessons for the rest of the international community in the realities of prosecuting international crimes at a national or domestic level.  

The constitutional court had upheld Kwoyelo’s objections to his trial before the International crimes Division of the High Court (ICD) that his trial was unconstitutional because he was entitled to amnesty like other rebel commanders who had been earlier granted the same. The constitutional court agreed with him that his trial was unconstitutional and ordered the ICD to stop prosecuting him immediately. The Attorney General appealed to the Supreme Court which has now given the ICD the go ahead to resume trial after holding, among other things that Uganda is bound by her international obligations not to subject international crimes to amnesty. 

Thomas Kwoyelo is charged with 12 counts of offences under the Geneva Act and 53 alternative counts under various sections of the Penal Code Act. The gist of the prosecution case against him is that he was one of the middle level commanders in the LRA who rose through the ranks up to that of Colonel by the time he was captured by the UPDF in 2008. During that time several atrocities were committed against the people of Northern Uganda especially among the Acholi in the present day Gulu and Amuru Districts and the DPPs office contends that he planned, commanded and or executed the attacks.   

In July 2011, he was produced before the ICD sitting in Gulu for his trial to start. The indictment of 12 counts under the Geneva conventions Act of Uganda and 53 alternative counts under the Ugandan Penal Code Act were read to him in English with the help of an interpreter. 

The offences under the Geneva conventions Act include wilful killing, extensive destruction of property and abduction while the alternative counts include murder, kidnap and robbery. 

He pleaded not guilty to all the charges, before an overflowing court room. 

His appearance attracted a lot of attention, locally and internationally.

The Supreme Court’s resolution of the legal hurdle of the amnesty law has opened the way for the continuation of this case. 

 

 

 

Thursday, 11 June 2015 00:00

Environmental Law Enforcement Regional Workshops

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The Directorate of Public Prosecutions has partnered with the Ministry of Water and Environment, Greenwich (an Environmental Rights Advocacy Group), National Forestry Authority (NFA) and the Judiciary in organizing regional workshops aimed at improving the enforcement of environmental laws and Regulations in Uganda.

These workshops are intended for judicial officers, State Attorneys and Prosecutors, and the environmental protection police.

The first workshop was held in Masaka for officers from the Sub Region, from 26th to 28th of May 2015 at Hotel Brovad. 10 State Attorneys from the DPP’s filed stations attended the workshop. Three officers from the Headquarters facilitated at the workshops. These were Emmanuel Muwonge (Principal State Attorney), Florence Akello Owinji (Principal State Attorney) and David Ateenyi Ndamuraani (Ag. Assistant DPP in charge of Mbale Region).

The workshop was officially opened by the Minister of State for Water and Environement, Hon. Flavia Munaaba and closed by David Ndamuraani on behalf of the DPP, Mike J. Chibita.

Copies of their presentations are available here.

The next Regional workshop is scheduled for 10th to 12th of June 2015 at Hoima Resort Hotel. 10 State Attorneys from the Region are expected to attend the training. 

Vision And Mission

VISION

 “A crime free society”.

MISSION

 “To handle and prosecute criminal cases in a just, effective and efficient manner”.

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