Sign up for weekly updates

Court dismisses case against politician who assaulted photojournalist

(HRNJ/IFEX) - On 29 October 2010, the Buganda road court dismissed an assault case against Kampala businessman Hajji Hassan Basajjabalaba after the prosecution reported that investigations into the matter by the director of public prosecutions (DPP) have not been concluded.

Grade one magistrate Francis Kobusheshe noted that an assault case is not very complex to investigate and wondered why it is taking the DPP so long to wind up his investigation.

On 6 September, Basajjabalaba, the chairman of the entrepreneurship league in the ruling National Resistance Movement Organization (NRM-O) party, slapped and punched Arthur Kintu's, splitting his lips, at a NRM conference at the Namboole stadium in Kira Town Council, Wakiso district.

Kobusheshe dismissed the case and ruled that the DPP may reinstate the matter if he collects enough evidence against Basajjabalaba.

However, Basajjabalaba had never appeared in court to answer to the assault charge despite a series of court summons issued to him by Kobusheshe since 9 September.

Prosecutor Happiness Ayinebyona earlier asked the court to adjourn the case, saying the file was still with DPP Richard Butera. The court refused the request.

Basajjabalaba's lawyer, Geoffrey Nangunya, asked the court to dismiss the case.

HRNJ-Uganda calls on the DPP to quickly reinstate the case in the interest of justice. "No matter what office Basajjabalaba holds in the ruling party, he should be punished for his wrongdoings. Perpetrators of violence against journalists must be punished to end impunity in the lead-up to the February 2011 general elections," said HRNJ-Uganda Programmes Coordinator Geoffrey Wokulira Ssebaggala.

Latest Tweet:

#HONDURAS | el @RSF_inter denuncia graves ataques a periodistas del departamento de Colón @clibre

Get more stories like this

Sign up for our newsletters and get the most important free expression news delivered to your inbox.