The Anti-Corruption Division of the High Court has temporarily halted the hearing of corruption charges against Minister for Karamoja Affairs, Mary Goretti Kitutu.
Justice Jane Kajuga dismissed Dr. Kitutu’s previous application to stop her trial, where she claimed to have been tortured by the police during arrest and interrogation.
However, Justice Kajuga acknowledged that Dr. Kitutu has filed an appeal in the Court of Appeal, indicating that the appeal has arguable points and should be addressed first before the trial proceeds.
The judge emphasized the importance of resolving any allegations of human rights violations before continuing with criminal proceedings, particularly regarding non-derogable rights specified in the Constitution.
Considering the potential for a miscarriage of justice and the costliness of proceeding with the trial before the appeal is decided, Justice Kajuga granted Dr. Kitutu’s application to stay the proceedings until the Court of Appeal reaches a decision.
Dr. Kitutu’s application raised concerns about the risk of her non-derogable rights to a fair trial being compromised and the potential hindrance to her unrestricted right to appeal.
The charges against Minister Kitutu, her brother Michael Naboya Kitutu, and Mr. Joshua Abaho stem from allegations of causing loss of public property and conspiracy to defraud. They deny these charges.
Dr. Kitutu had previously filed an application alleging violations of her rights during police detention, including being denied food and access to legal representation.
The court’s decision to halt the proceedings reflects the need to address human rights concerns before proceeding with the trial.