By Farooq Kasule and Micheal Odeng
The High Court in Kampala has declined the request to avail sh50m to Coporiyamu Kasolo alias Arsenal, the prime suspect in the murder case of social worker Maria Nagirinya to advertise for witnesses.
Kasolo wanted the court to give him sh50m to advertise in the media for witnesses to aid his defence saying he lost touch with them following his arrest in 2019.
Dismissing the application on Tuesday, May 30, trial Judge Isaac Muwata said there is no legal basis for the sh50m request by Kasolo.
“I find that there is no legal basis for the court to avail the applicant (Kasolo) sh50m to advertise for witnesses. I hereby direct the applicant (Kasolo) to avail the deputy registrar of this court with the details of his witnesses so that they can be summoned to appear in court. Even if it requires spending the sh50m, it will be the deputy registrar to advertise for the witnesses and not the accused,” Muwata directed.
Kasolo, Johnson Lubega alias Etoo alias Manomano, Hassan Kisekka alias Masadda, Nasif Kalyango alias Muwonge, Sharif Mpanga alias Shafiq, and Sadat Kateregga alias Baros, are accused of killing Nagirinya and her driver, Ronald Kitayimbwa, on August 28, 2019.
The matter has been adjourned to June 6 for further defence hearing.
In February, Isaac Ssenabulya was sentenced to 40 years in jail after pleading guilty to the charges at the initial stages of the trial while Raymond Okori Marckos had his charges dropped by the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Nagirinya, a former employee of Community Integrated Development Initiative was murdered in cold blood together with Kitayimbwa on August 28, 2019, in what the prosecution argued was a robbery scheme. Their bodies were recovered on August 30, 2019, in Mukono district.
The prosecution alleges that the group and others still at large at Nabisasilo zone, Rubaga division, in Kampala district with intent to murder forcefully kidnapped Nagirinya, Kitayimbwa and eventually murdered them.
In regard to aggravated robbery, the prosecution alleges that on the same day, the group robbed Kitayimbwa of his mobile phone Nokia serial number S/no. 356839092092020 and sh24,000 and also robbed Nagirinya of her sh260,000 in addition to her Toyota Spacio, which has since been recovered.
The indictment indicates that Nagirinya and Kitayimbwa were kidnapped around 11:00 pm as they waited for the gate to be opened at Nagirinya’s Mengo-based residence on the fateful night