Wednesday, November 30

In Musa Yalli Batchilly’s trial, defence files motion against judgement

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The presiding magistrate confirmed that the court had received the motion filed by the defence. Superintendent Manga, representing the IGP, rose confirmed they were served with the motion and raised no objection. He informed the court that they would reply on the spot.

Counsel Kijera informed the court that they filed the motion by virtue of Section 245 of the CPC. He posited that the first prayer was to arrest the judgment pending the outcome of the appeal. He adduced that the motion was supported by 10 paragraphs. At that juncture, he cited a case to support his argument. “The court must be patient enough to allow the accused time to conduct his case. The record of the court will show that the accused has never refused to attend the court. I urge the court to stay the proceedings until the determination of the appeal. This is a motion with an affidavit attached,” he claimed. He further argued that the prosecution had not filed an affidavit in opposition and could not oppose verbally but through an affidavit.

Prosecutor Manga objected that the case mentioned by the defence in their argument was not relevant to arrest the judgement of the court. “What they asked the court to do falls under the category of the rules of the High Court but not in the subordinate courts. The issue of arresting judgment is not possible in a subordinate court and it is not substantiated by any law. This is a criminal matter. The court cannot stay its own proceedings. It can only be done by the High Court. You cannot adjourn a matter for more than 2 weeks,” he argued.

He posited that there must be an appeal at the High Court for stay of proceedings. He further said that they saw a notice of appeal, stating why the appeal must be heard. He argued that there must be evidence to show that there is an appeal, and the court where the appeal has been filed must state that the case should be stayed. “An appeal should have merits. It is not a right to only say that the defence has filed an appeal,” he told the court. At that juncture, he cited the case of Amadou Jobe and the State. “I urge the court to refuse the application for a stay of proceedings. Litigation has an end,” he declared.

On points of law, Counsel Kijera stated that the accused should be accorded a fair trial. “He should be allowed to defend himself,” he told the court.

The matter was adjourned to the 26th May, 2021, for ruling.