Former commander of the Police Professional Standards Unit Joel Aguma is not only a free, but also rich man after the High Court Civil division issued an order quashing all charges and proceedings against him in the Court Martial.
Aguma was on Tuesday awarded a compensation of 200 million Shillings for the trauma caused by his arrest, detention and prosecution before the General Court Martial.
Together with seven other suspects, Aguma is facing charges of kidnap, illegal repatriation of refugees and being in unlawful possession of military weapons.
However, his trial was quashed by High Court Judge Margret Oumo Oguli who ordered for Aguma's immediate release from Military Custody, in response to an application filed by the defendant seeking to restrain the Military Court from trying the Senior Police Officer.
Justice Oguli’s ruling read in part; "Instead it is ordered that the Professional Standards Unit of the police should investigate the charge and prosecute the applicant.”
Caleb Alaka, Aguma's lawyer says the ruling was based on the fact that the Court Martial has no jurisdiction in cases involving Police officers and also that a Police officer cannot be charged with unlawful possession of Military stores.
The judge argued that Aguma’s trial in the General Court Martial would constitute a double punishment given that he has been tried by another wing on an Armed Force.
The other suspects include: former head of the Special Operations Unit Nixon Agasirwe, Faisal Katende an operative of the Flying Squad, Sgt Abel Tumukunde also of Flying Squad, James Magada who works with Crime Intelligence, Amon Kwarisima, Rene Rutangira a Rwandan National and Bahati Mugenga a Congolese National.
The 8 men are accused of kidnapping Lt Joel Mutabazi a former bodyguard of the Rwandan President Paul Kagame who had come to Uganda as a refugee together with a one Jackson Kalemire and handing them over to the Rwandan government unlawfully.