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Human Rights Abuse Of An Accused Is Not A Green Light For Crime, Says Justice Kwesiga

Hon. Justice J.W Kwesiga in his judgment delivered on the 22nd February 2019 in the case of Nantume Judith V Uganda, Criminal Appeal No. 130 Of 2017, stated that the violation of the human rights of an accused does not dispose of the offense with which he or she has been charged with.

In the appeal, the appellant contended that a preliminary objection about the violation of her human rights would dispose off a case. She had been charged with different counts however during her arrest there was a violationof her rights under Article 23(4) of the constitution.

She was arrested by a male officer who molested her and almost stripped her naked and later detained at Jinja Police station for 8 days without being released on police bond contrary to the 48-hour Constitutional right.

Although Justice Kwesiga agreed that there was a violation of her human rights, while citing Dr. Kizza Besigye & others V AG Constitutional Petition No.07 of 2007, he stated that this does not automatically bar criminal proceedings against the accused person unless the human rights abuse was during the proceedings as that affects the right to a fair trial.