Audio Clips in Susan Magara Murder Trial Reveal Kidnappers’ Ransom Demands

audio clips in susan magara murder trial reveal kidnappers ransom demands
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In the courtroom yesterday, state prosecutors presented 12 audio clips that contained ransom demands made by individuals suspected of kidnapping 28-year-old Susan Magara. These recordings, which date back to February 2018, were played before High Court Judge Alex Ajiji for identification.

During the playback of the audios, Susan Magara’s father, John Magara, confirmed their authenticity. In these recordings, the alleged kidnappers were heard demanding a ransom. In one audio, Susan Magara’s mother, Immaculate Magara, was heard pleading with the kidnappers to speak with her instead of her husband.

It was revealed in court that one of the individuals featured in the audio recordings was identified as Yakub Byensi, who is from Masindi District but was not among the suspects currently on trial.

Mr. John Magara, the fifth prosecution witness, testified that he did not know any of the accused individuals but received repeated phone calls from one person who demanded a ransom of $1 million for the release of his kidnapped daughter.

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Mr. Magara recounted, “After the news of the kidnapping, my wife and I tried to get information about Susan but failed until my wife received a phone call from a male stranger speaking Runyoro, confirming they had Susan in their custody. This brought us some relief as we now knew she was still alive.”

“At that moment, they did not specify the ransom amount. However, on the third phone call, they demanded $1 million. My wife offered Shs100 million at one point, but the kidnapper rejected it, suggesting a discount of $50 million.”

Mr. Magara also described his conversation with his daughter, who was in a distressed state, imploring them to raise the ransom quickly.

According to court records, on February 15 and 19, 2018, the kidnappers attempted to collect the ransom but became apprehensive and abandoned their mission after learning that John Magara had involved the police.

The kidnappers then contacted John’s sister, Flora Magara, warning her that he had violated his promise not to involve the police. On February 24, 2018, Flora delivered $200,000 in ransom money at Kanaaba Ndejje village, following the instructions provided by the kidnapper.

The following day, February 25, Mr. John Magara was contacted by AIGP Byakagaba, who asked him to identify a body found on the Kigo side of the Entebbe Expressway, which turned out to be his daughter, Susan Magara.

The nine suspects currently on trial, including Yususf Lubega, Hussein Wasswa, Muzamiru Ssali, Hajara Nakandi, Abubaker Kyewolwa, Mahad Kisalita, Hassan Kato Miiro, Ismail Bukenya, and Musa Abbas Buvumbo, are accused of kidnapping Susan Magara with the intent of obtaining a ransom or benefiting from her release to prevent her murder.

The judge announced that court proceedings would continue with the testimonies of more prosecution witnesses.

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