News and Announcements

News and Announcements (29)

 The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) with support from the Human Trafficking Institute has launched the ODPP Trafficking   in   Persons   Prosecution   Guidelines, for   effective   handling   of Trafficking in Persons cases.

 

The Trafficking in Persons Prosecution Guidelines are offered to aid Ugandan prosecutors working to prevent and combat Trafficking in Persons, protect and assist victims, and effectively cooperate with other stakeholders in doing so.

 

These Guidelines highlight effective practices and techniques in every phase of the prosecution process and will be used as a practical guide and training tool for Ugandan prosecutors.

 

Speaking at the launch, the DPP Jane Frances Abodo who was the Chief Guest said, When prosecuting Trafficking in Persons cases, it is expected that prosecutors will follow these Guidelines to strategize, plan, prepare, and equip themselves with the right foundation to be successful. It is this foundation that will lead to better results in the prosecution of these cases, both in terms of victim support and in aggressive punishment of traffickers in Uganda.”

 

She further said, “When prosecutors aggressively pursue and have traffickers, punished, victims receive justice and community safety increases significantly for the most vulnerable.”

 

The Hon the Principle Judge commended the ODPP for the milestone towards criminal justice.

 

Jacquelyn Okui

Public Relations Officer

 

Wednesday, 08 September 2021 00:00

ODPP LAUNCHES PROSECUTOR PLEA BARGAIN GUIDELINES

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The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) with support from UN Women has launched Prosecutor Plea Bargain Guidelines.

 

The main objective of the Guidelines is to streamline the processes to be followed by prosecutors in conducting plea bargain and to enhance the efficiency of the criminal justice system for orderly, predictable, uniform, consistent and timely resolution of criminal matters.

 

They contain principles of plea bargaining, types of plea bargaining, the law applicable to the process, an outline of the plea bargaining process, contents of the plea bargain agreement, and its execution, monitoring and evaluation of the plea bargain procedure, as well as the roles of the parties involved in plea bargaining, their rights, and support systems.

 

“The Prosecutor Plea Bargain Guidelines are intended to train and build the capacity of all stakeholders in the criminal justice system and in particular – Prosecutors, Judicial Officers, Defence Lawyers, Police and Prisons Officers on the objectives and procedures of plea bargaining which are human rights based, victim/survivor centred and gender sensitive,” said the DPP Jane Frances Abodo at the launch.

 

On behalf of the Judiciary, the Hon the Principal Judge Dr. Flavian Zeija embraced the Guidelines as a remedy for injustices that were being caused during the process, particularly unfair sentences.

 

Dr. Benson Oketch, the Chief Guest who represented the UN Women Country Representative at the launch said, “The Guidelines are intended to elevate the survivors’ voices by allowing them to participate in the plea bargain process.”

 

The DPP expressed her gratitude to UN Women, EU–UN Spotlight Initiative and the Embassy of Sweden for the financial support towards the development of the Guidelines.

 

 

 

Jacquelyn Okui

 

Public Relations Officer

 

 

OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS LAUNCHES CHILD FRIENDLY ROOMS IN KABALE, MBARARA AND MASAKA

 

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) has launched child friendly rooms at its regional offices in Kabale, Mbarara and Masaka. The launch of the child friendly room in Kabale took place on 19th May 2021, presided over by Hon. Justice Moses Kazibwe, the Resident Judge of Kabale, who was the Chief Guest.  The launch of the Mbarara and Masaka child friendly rooms took place today 20th May 2021, presided over by Ms. Rachael Odoi, the Senior Technical Advisor, Justice Law and Order Sector (JLOS).

 

In the course of its work, the ODPP encounters children who come into contact with the law as child victims of crime, child witnesses to crime, and children in conflict with the law (juvenile offenders). Therefore, it is the duty of the prosecutors in the ODPP to prepare child victims and witnesses so that their voices can be heard in judicial proceedings.

 

Speaking at the event, the Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, Mr. Vincent Wagona noted that previously prosecutors faced numerous challenges when preparing children for court because some of the children would get timid, freak out or simply keep quiet when asked to narrate their ordeals in open spaces with adults. It became very difficult to get any evidence of child witnesses and some of the cases would be lost in court as a result.

 

Mr. Wagona further observed that a couple of ODPP trainings with Children at Risk Action Network (CRANE), an organisation that deals with children, revealed that children needed child friendly environments to be able to open up and tell their stories during judicial proceedings, resulting in the birth of child friendly rooms.

 

 

 

Mr. Wagona further said that with support from the Children at Risk Action Network (CRANE), the ODPP launched its first ever child friendly room at the head office. Subsequently, the Justice Law and Order Sector (JLOS) has supported the roll out of these rooms to the ODPP regional offices, for which the ODPP is very grateful. He also appreciated the Department of Gender, Children and Sexual Offences headed by the Assistant DPP, Samali Wakooli, for their efforts towards the establishment of the rooms.

 

These rooms are used as reception and holding spaces for child victims, witnesses before their appearance in court, preparation rooms for victims and witnesses for court, by the prosecutors, interview rooms for child victims and witnesses, therapeutic rooms for emotional healing, rooms for child offenders in the event that there is need for them to come to the ODPP and rooms for children who are at risk and may be in need of advice and support.

 

Indeed, with the creation of these rooms, it has come to light that the children who are prepared for court in this kind of environment tend to give better evidence in court thus reducing on the number of cases lost due to failure of children to testify.

 

“More cases can now be successfully prosecuted because children can now easily tell their ordeals.” said Ms. Faith Kembabazi, the Executive Director, CRANE.

 

Ms. Rachael Odoi, the Senior Technical Advisor, JLOS, observed that international law and practice emphasize promotion of child friendly procedures in the justice system whereby children who come into contact with the law, as victims of crime, witnesses of crime or those in conflict with the law, are supposed to be treated with dignity, and respect. They require that in handling cases which involve children, the children’s best interests should be a primary consideration and they should be treated in a child friendly manner. On behalf of JLOS, she pledged their continued support to the ODPP in promoting good practices that enhance access to justice for all. “JLOS looks forward to entrenching the child friendly procedures and practices in all institutions that deal with children in their daily work,” she said.

 

Justice Moses Kazibwe appreciated the initiative of the child friendly room in the ODPP and the institutions involved. He advocated for the other institutions in the justice chain handling children; the Judiciary and the Uganda Police Force to benefit from the initiative.

 

 

 

Jacquelyn Okui

 

Public Relations Officer

 

 

 

Thursday, 29 April 2021 00:00

THE ODPP/ CID COORDINATION MEETING

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THE ODPP/ CID COORDINATION MEETING

 

Today the 29th of April 2021, the Office of the DPP with support from JLOS are hosting their quarterly ODPP - CID coordination meeting at Hotel Africana.

 

The main agenda of the meeting is to assess the role of the ODPP and UPF in managing electoral offences that emanated from the previous elections of January 2021.

 

The meeting was attended by Top & Senior Management of ODPP headed by Justice Jane Frances Abodo, Officers from the Criminal Investigation Directorate (CID) headed by AIGP Grace Akullo, Representatives from UPDF headed by General Henry Masiko and the Chief Executive Officer from Uganda Law Society (ULS).

 

The ODPP/CID coordination meetings are usually a self reflection of the currently prevailing issues in society and the engagement enables the actors to take stock and pave the way forward in upholding the rule of law.

 

In her presentation, the Asst. DPP Ms. Barbara Kawuma stated that the Electoral offences unit in the ODPP was set up in August 2021 to specifically handle the electoral process of January 2021. She noted that the unit has so far as of March 2021 registered over 350 cases, where majority are on further inquiries.

 

In his presentation D/SSP Moses Taremwa from UPF articulated the numerous challenges faced by the Force during the election process such as lack of human resource to man all the political centers. Lack of protective gear for the police officers who were usually attacked by civilians and wrong elements while carrying out their mandate of maintaining law and order in communities.

 

 The CEO of ULS Mr. Moses Okwalinga noted that as ULS they are concerned about the selective prosecution of opposition members visa vie the ruling party. ULS further noted that the media was awash with stories and scenes of security agencies mating violence on civilians and members of the public. The Society pledged to work together with other stakeholders in promoting civic education in preparation of the next elections.

 

The meeting resolved to open the lines of communication and have more engagements with all stakeholders in order to make the electoral process smooth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

DPP SIGNS MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING WITH SPACE FOR GIANTS

 

Today the 3rd of March 2021, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Justice Jane Frances Abodo has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Space for Giants (SFG) to strengthen the ability of the Office of the DPP to handle cases involving wildlife crimes.

 

The MOU was signed in the boardroom of the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) in a meeting attended by Mr. Katto Wambua, Wildlife Justice and Rule of Law Manager, Space for Giants, Mr. Justus Karuhanga, Country Representative, Space for Giants, Mr. Charles Elem–Ogwal, Deputy DPP (Prosecutions), Mr. Odumbi James Owere, Deputy DPP (International Affairs), Ms. Barbra Kawuma Bugembe, Assistant DPP/Head, Environmental and Wildlife Crime Division, Thomas Jatiko, Assistant DPP, International Crimes among others, chaired by the DPP.

 

Space for Giants is an international conservation non–governmental organisation based in Africa and committed to supporting governments to protect wildlife and Africa’s critical landscapes/ecosystem from ever–increasing pressures and wildlife crime. It collaborates with national and regional authorities on prosecution, law reform, wildlife management, policing and judicial authorities as well as international agencies and national, regional and international NGOs.

 

In her remarks, the DPP noted that the signing of the MOU was the beginning of an esteemed and privileged partnership between the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions – Uganda and Space for Giants.

 

She said, “Wildlife crimes have the potential to affect the natural ecosystem, communities and livelihoods. Wildlife crimes can also be transnational, implying that the sources of financing are syndicates of international organised criminals. The danger with this, is that some of these syndicates could end up financing other serious crimes like terrorism and arms trade. It is for this reason that the

 

 

 

Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions – Uganda has taken a keen interest in wildlife crime by setting up a specialised division based at the head office to handle and coordinate the management of all cases involving wildlife crimes. The division also monitors and assesses the management and prosecution of cases involving wildlife crimes by delegated prosecutors.”

 

The DPP thanked Space for Giants for the initiative and pledged to ensure that the Office of the DPP meets its end of the partnership. 

 

On behalf of Space for Giants, Mr. Katto Wambua, the Wildlife Justice and Rule of Law Manager at Space for Giants pledged to support the Wildlife Division of the Office of the DPP, scale it up to the regions and equip it. He further pledged to build the capacity of the Prosecutors and other stakeholders in handling cases involving wildlife crimes, support law reform proposals and international cooperation.

 

Mr. Katto Wambua thanked the DPP for affording Space for Giants the opportunity to consolidate its strategy.

 

Under the MOU, Space for Giants will assist the ODPP to strengthen and improve its ability to discharge its mandate through operationalization of the ODPP Wildlife Crime Prosecution Department, capacity building, developing a Wildlife Crime Training Curriculum and related educational materials, law reform, supporting regional and international legal cooperation mechanisms, enhancing case work standards and internal mechanisms for case management, and prosecutors’ awards.

 

 

 

Jacquelyn Okui

 

Public Relations Officer – ODPP

 

 

STATEMENT BY THE OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS, UGANDA ON TORTURE AND OTHER FORMS OF CRUEL, INHUMANE AND DEGRADING TREATMENT OF SUSPECTS

 

Following recent complaints and acrimony by various stakeholders of the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions regarding torture of suspects, the Office has found it important to state its position on torture and other forms of cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment of suspects.

 

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Uganda is a creature of Article 120 of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, 1995. The constitutional mandate of the ODPP is to prosecute criminal cases in any court in Uganda apart from the court martial, and to direct Police to investigate information of a criminal nature. The functions of the ODPP are geared towards the reduction of crime and the pursuit of justice. In exercising its authority and mandate, the ODPP is enjoined to have regard to public interest, the interest of administration of justice and the need to prevent abuse of legal process.

 

In accordance with its mandate, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions does not condone the use of torture and other forms of cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment on suspects, and strongly discourages security agencies from carrying out interrogations that make use of torture and other forms of cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment.

 

Torture and other forms of cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment are a violation of the law. They are ineffective as a means of extracting reliable information. Moreover, these forms of treatment negatively impact the physical and mental health of suspects. They have far-reaching consequences for Uganda because they damage its reputation, and undermine its credibility when it pursues international human rights.

 

Torture and other forms of cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment are a violation of the law

 

Security agencies are required to observe a wide range of international and national treaties, conventions, and laws that prohibit torture and other cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment, and the prohibition is absolute under all circumstances.

 

Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948 provides,

 

“No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”

 

Article 1 of the United Nations Convention Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, 1984 which was ratified by Uganda in 1986 defines torture. It states:

 

“… ‘torture’ means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity…”

 

Article 2 (2) of the Convention prohibits torture as it states:

 

No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.”

 

The Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, 1995 which is the Supreme law of the land and has binding force on all authorities and persons throughout Uganda provides in Article 24 that:

 

No person shall be subjected to any form of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”

 

In addition, Article 44 (a) provides that there shall be no derogation from the enjoyment of the right to freedom from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

 

Moreover, according to Article 20 (2), the rights and freedoms of individuals and groups enshrined in the Constitution shall be respected, upheld and promoted by all organs and agencies of Government and by all persons.

 

The Prevention and Prohibition of Torture Act was enacted in 2012, and also prohibits torture and other forms of cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment in its Section 3, and renders them punishable offences.

 

Therefore, it is resolved that the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Uganda:

 

1.     Condemns the use of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment as interrogation strategies and calls upon all Security agencies including the Uganda Police Force (UPF), Internal Security Organisation (ISO), External Security Organisation (ESO) to explicitly ban the use of such treatment and enforce all laws and regulations prohibiting its use.

 

2.     Shall order an investigation into every torture allegation that is brought to its attention.

 

3.     Shall prosecute suspected perpetrators of torture and other forms of cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment against whom there is sufficient evidence.

 

 

 

 

 

Jane Frances ABODO

 

DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS

 

 

 

10th June 2020

 

HON. LADY JUDGE JANE FRANCES ABODO ASSUMES OFFICE AS DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS

Hon. Lady Judge Jane Frances Abodo has assumed her position as Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) today April 22, 2020. This follows her recent appointment by His Excellency the President Y.K. Museveni as the DPP after the Hon. Justice Mike Chibita was elevated to Justice of the Supreme Court of Uganda.

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) has been eagerly awaiting its head since the Hon. Justice Mike Chibita (JSC) left almost three months ago. We are therefore pleased with the appointment, more so since she is the first female DPP and one of our own, having served in the ODPP for over 20 years.

The Hon. Lady Judge Jane Frances Abodo joined the ODPP as a pupil State Attorney and rose to the rank of Senior Assistant DPP. She headed the Anti-Corruption Department for 8 years and successfully handled very high profile corruption related cases including the pension case of 88 billion Uganda Shillings, against Jimmy Lwamafa and others. In 2015, she was recognized by the Uganda Law Society as the best female prosecutor of the year. She left an exceptional record when she crossed over to the Judiciary in March 2018.

It is with great pleasure that we extend our heartiest congratulations to the Hon. Lady Judge Jane Frances Abodo on her new appointment. We gladly receive her, pledge our support and look forward to productive cooperation.

We wish her success in her new assignment and hope that under her leadership, the ODPP will scale greater heights.

We thank His Excellency the President for the appointment.

 

 

 

Jacquelyn Okui

Ag. Principal State Attorney/PRO

 

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions has this morning received anatomical dolls from CRANE (Children at Risk Action Network), an organization that supports prosecution of cases of sexual and gender based violence involving children.

The anatomical dolls will be used as demonstration aids to help young victims of Sexual violence to clearly show to court what happened to them and also aid the prosecutor to lead the evidence without compelling the victim to recite words that they may be uncomfortable mentioning in public. Vulnerable witnesses eg. the deaf, dumb may also use them.

Sexual offences form the bulk of cases handled by the ODPP at the High Court and most witnesses are children. Research shows that young children are better able to communicate through demonstration than through language and the dolls provide children with a road map of the body.

In a criminal trial, prosecution is required to prove a case beyond reasonable doubt. This the prosecutors do so through witnesses who are called to tell court what happened. Oftentimes, the court will require this witness to clearly state how they were abused and if they are unable to do so the case may be dismissed on grounds that the prosecution has failed to prove a case beyond reasonable doubt. Refer to the case of Uganda Vs. Apai where the victim could not clearly explain the sexual act in public and court acquitted the accused.

Uganda as a country has most of its beliefs on a strong cultural setting. Most of the cultures believe or perceive the sexual act as a bad act that is not to be discussed in the open. Because of the strong cultural restrictions, some witnesses find it difficult to openly talk about sexuality. Individuals, families, tribes, communities all use different terms to refer to sexual organs.

Given that most cases of child sexual abuse lack external corroborating evidence, children's verbal accounts of their experiences are of paramount importance to investigators and prosecutions. The use of the anatomical dolls by prosecutors is expected to improve access to justice for children and vulnerable victims of crime through improved success rate in prosecutions.

 

PR Office - 20th September 2019

REMARKS

BY

MR. WAGONA VINCENT:  SENIOR ASSISTANT DPP /AO/PATRON HIV AIDS COMMITTEE

 

We wish to thank the Government, specifically the President’s office for the innovation of the workplace HIV/AIDS committees for all the Government Ministries and departments, and for permitting these committees to source funds elsewhere other than the Government.

It is this effort that saw the ODPP HIV/AIDS committee participate at the Global Fund country concept writing.

I am proud to be the patron of this committee because of the commendable job that is going on in our organization by this committee. The committee has greatly spearheaded dispelling of stigma through her quarterly awareness campaigns, the committee supports the disclosed staff with a monthly allowance to improve their nutrition; we have work stations whose output has improved greatly due to diet support, the committee has sourced and placed condom dispensers in some of the  staff wash rooms and they Endeavor  to refill the dispensers at all time, and whenever funds allow the committee holds ODPP awareness week usually covering three regions each year.

We also commend the HIV/AIDS committee for the innovation of the rights based approach in the criminal justice system for the end of AIDS. This is an innovation we as an office pledge to support and we call upon everyone concerned to rally with us.

On this note we wish to thank the Global Fund through the ministry of Health for supporting the ODPP office in championing the rights based approach to end AIDS by facilitating the training of trainers.

 End of HIV/AIDS is a battle that calls every effort and indeed every one; it is the world’s desire hence mine and yours.

To this end, our office will continue to give a quarterly contribution to the HIV/AIDS committee to help them to plan and do awareness among the staff members.

Thank you.

 

 

Thursday, 11 July 2019 00:00

DFID HANDS OVER VEHICLES TO ODPP (U) AND CID

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DFID Deputy Head of Office, Ian Miller today hands over vehicles to ODPP (U) and CID to facilitate corruption investigations countrywide.

The Director of Public Prosecutions Justice Mike Chibita and a team from his office this afternoon received a brand new pickup from DFID/ SUGAR TAF at the latter's offices at S&L Building on MacKinnon Road in Kampala.

Speaking at the handover, Mr. Miller stated that DFID recognizes the fundamental importance of addressing fraud and corruption and is aware of the challenges systematically encountered by prosecutors and investigators in handling cases of corruption. He noted that following the allegations of fraud and corruption in Uganda's refugee response, they availed 551,000 Euros to facilitate investigations for a year and took the decision to support long term capacity development for the institutions involved. These include the office of the DPP, the Inspectorate of Government, CID and the Financial Intelligence Authority.
DFID is the second biggest donor for humanitarian response in Uganda and a major supporter of the Government on tackling corruption.

The DPP thanked DFID and SUGAR TAF for the support they have given the institution in setting up its Prosecution Case Management System, capacity building for prosecutors and aiding the investigation of allegations of corruption in the Refugee settlements.

Progress in the investigations had stalled as a result of inadequate resources.
He promised that the resources availed will be put to good use.

 

 

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