Simon Odongo: Army Court Frees Tortured ISO Cyber Expert

General court martial freed Simon Peter Odongo a computer wizard of Internal Security Organization ‘ISO’ who was arrested on May 5 this year on unclear charges.

Odongo was released today afternoon following a military court sitting at Bombo Military Hospital where he has been admitted since arrest after being shot in the right leg by those who arrested him.

He was subsequently driven to his home in Bwoyogerere an outskirt of Kampala.

Reasons for his release from the military detention are not clear but sources cite another force from His Excellency the President Yoweri Museveni who maintained that Odongo whom he had personally attached to ISO to be officially charged in the court if he committed a case or be released.

According to a security source, the court martial released him unconditionally on state bail.

“He was released unconditionally, he had no lawyers, no sureties but we let him out. He will be reporting back to us every after two months” A source at the military court told this website.

He is accused of being in possession of the illegal fire arms which he vehemently denies saying that the fire arms he possessed at the time of his arrest were given to him by his employers being a security agency.

This month, High Court directed the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) to unconditionally release him.

In a ruling dated October 2, High Court civil division judge Michael Elubu ordered the immediate unconditional release of Odongo after CMI, the Attorney General and Inspector General of Police were found to be in contempt of two earlier court orders issued on June 2 and 26, this year.

The ruling followed an application filed by Caroline Odongo Turyatemba, a sister to Odongo, against the three respondents over the continued detention of her brother.

Court ordered the respondents to stop proceedings against Odongo in the General Court Martial. However, these orders were snubbed, prompting Turyatemba to seek another order through Counsel James Byamukama.

Turyatemba further argued that the respondents, through their agents, filed forged documents in court and committed contempt of court.

She cited perjury in an additional affidavit in a reply deponed by Capt. Robert Kandole on June 5, in which Kandole reportedly testified against Odongo in the army court.

Turyatemba said the proceedings in the army court were null and void, a violation of Odongo’s fundamental and non-derogable right to a fair hearing and tantamount to a miscarriage of justice.

She told court that during his arrest, Odongo was shot in the leg while on the floor in a subdued position. “Since arrest, Odongo has been kept without trial, contrary to Article 23 (4) of the Constitution, in an undisclosed and ungazetted place of detention by the servants of the respondents,” Turyatemba added.

She argued that whereas a senior medical consultant at Bombo military hospital, identified as Dr Ochen, on July 3 referred Odongo for specialised medical treatment, being a patient of asthma, hypertension and diabetes, this has been adamantly blocked by the respondents’ agents, thereby endangering his life.

Turyatemba contended that charges were read to Odongo while at his sickbed at Bombo Military Hospital on July 1, after the 48-hour grace period that the court had given the respondents to produce him before a competent court had expired.

She added that a court-martial proceedings’ report that the Attorney General presented to court showing that Odongo was charged on June 4, was false because she attended the sitting of July 1, when the charges were first read to him.

While delivering his ruling, Judge Elubu said: “We cannot stand by and watch prosecutions mounted and conducted in the midst of such flagrant, egregious and malafide violations of the Constitution.

“We must act to protect the constitutional rights of the petitioners in particular and the citizens of Uganda in general, as well as the rule of law by ordering all the tainted proceedings against the petitioners to stop forthwith and directing the respective courts to discharge the petitioners.” Justice Elubu noted.(C1P).

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