All police stations countrywide have received arrest warrants to apprehend former Kampala South Regional Police Commander Siraje Bakaleke who is wanted for trial on charges of abuse of office and kidnap. Daily Monitor reports.
“We have sent the warrants of arrest to all police stations and the search is still on,” the Principal State Attorney in the Directorate of Public Prosecutions, Ms Alice Komuhangi, told the Anti-Corruption Court yesterday.
However, she added that Bakaleke is still on the run and has not been traced.
Ms Komuhangi further told trial magistrate Moses Nabende that the prosecution had a temporary order from the High Court halting the arrest of Bakaleke’s co-accused and city lawyer, Paul Mugoya Wanyoto until November 15 when his petition challenging criminal proceedings against him at the Anti-Corruption Court will be disposed of.
However, she asked court to extend the criminal summons against Mr Wanyoto on account that the temporary injunction should not stop the summons.
“There is an order served to this court and shall be complied with, however, criminal summons against Mr Wanyoto shall be extended,” Mr Nabende ruled.
Defence lawyers also asked the court to order the State to avail them with all the documents and evidence they intend to rely on during the trial, but the magistrate ruled that the prosecution be given more time to first secure appearance of Bakaleke and Wanyoto in court.
The case was adjourned to November 20.
Mr Bakaleke is on trial on charges on abuse of office, embezzlement, obtaining money by false pretense and kidnap.
Mr Bakaleke, 34, is jointly charged with six other police officers: Mr Robert Munezero, Mr Innocent Nuwagaba, Mr Robert Ray Asiimwe, Mr Junior Amanya, Mr Gastavas Babu, Mr Kenneth Zirintusa and businessman Samuel Nabeta Mulowooza, the managing director of Eye power Engineering Company.
Prosecution states that the accused and others still at large between February 4 and 11, 2018, in Kampala while employed in the Uganda Police Force did or directed to be done arbitrary acts prejudicial to the interests of their employer or of a one Jang Seungkwon in abuse of the authority of their offices by causing the said Jang to be wrongfully arrested and confined.
How events unfolded
Mr Bakaleke landed in trouble after four officers were intercepted at Entebbe airport unlawfully expatriating two Koreans; Mr Park Seunghoon and Mr Jang Shingu Un, from whom they had reportedly extorted Shs1.4b. The officers claimed they acted under ACP Bakaleke’s command.
The officers are said to have revealed to detectives at Criminal Investigation Directorate (CID) that ACP Bakaleke was the first person to learn about the Koreans’ gold deal and ordered his juniors to arrest them.
They were arrested and reportedly taken to ACP Bakaleke’s office, then at Katwe Division Police headquarters from where he personally interrogated them and they told him how they wanted to buy gold.
Sources said Mr Bakaleke said he knew someone who could sell them gold. He arranged that the Koreans would meet the gold seller at Acacia Mall, but the Koreans were arrested when they went to meet the seller.
They were put in cells for three days at Katwe Police Station as he ordered ASP Akankwasa to process their air tickets to fly them out of the country.
“A detective who was given peanuts of the extorted money got angry and intimated the ordeal to the now disbanded Flying Squad Unit (FSU).
He revealed all the details regarding the deal and he tipped them off on the time when the Koreans were going to be sneaked out of the country.
ACP Herbert Muhangi, then SFU commander, deployed officers at Entebbe airport and indeed the Koreans were rescued as they were about to be put on a plane,” a detective at Kampala Central Police Station said.
FSU officers recovered, among other exhibits, air tickets, passports of the Koreans nationals which had been given to them at the airport, and US dollars valued Shs1.8m and unspecified amount of Korean currency.