Chief Justice rejects president M7 directive that bail is unacceptable for suspected killers

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Constitution and the law on matters relating to bail, the Chief Justice, BartM. Katureebe, has said.
While responding to President Yoweri Museveni’s June 14 remarks during
the National Budget Day that “bail for (suspected) killers is not acceptable”,
Justice Katureebe said Judiciary’s position on bail can only change when the law is amended.
“It is simple: the issue of bail is governed by the Constitution and the law.
Until the law is amended, bail will be granted or denied in accordance with
the Constitution and the law,” said the Chief Justice.
He adds that the courts presume all accused persons innocent until they are
proven guilty in a trial – the very reason they have a right to apply for bail
and the courts have the discretion to grant or deny the applications. The law
provides adequate safeguards and the courts take into account a number of
considerations, including the matters of public safety, before they grant bail.
Additional Notes
The right to apply for bail is provided for in 1995 Constitution of Uganda (as amended); the Magistrates Court Act Cap 16 (MCA); and Trial on Indictment Act, Cap 23 (TIA). Article 23 (6)(a) of the Constitution provides for the right of an accused person to apply to court to be released on bail subject to the legal requirements and conditions, which must be fulfilled before court grants bail. Article 23(6)(b) gives the accused person before a Magistrates Court the right to be released on bail, if the person has been on remand for sixty (60) days before trial. Article 23(6)(c) gives a person charged with a capital offence the right to be released on bail if he or she has spent one hundred and eighty days (180)
on remand before their committal to the High Court for trial. But the accused person must still fulfil all legal requirements and conditions set by court.�

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