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Uganda terror case referred to regional court

Thursday March 17 2011

Terror suspects Hussein Hassan (front) Idris Magondo (middle) and Muhammed Abudow are escorted by police officers to Nakawa Court, Uganda. Photo/FILE

Terror suspects Hussein Hassan (front) Idris Magondo (middle) and Muhammed Abudow are escorted by police officers to Nakawa Court, Uganda on August 22, 2010. Photo/FILE 

By NATION REPORTER

The East African Court of Justice will determine the legality of the surrender of terror suspects from Kenya to face charges in Uganda.

The decision to refer the cases was reached when the families applied to have the case referred to the EACJ for it to interpret sections of the treaty that the state relied on while extraditing the suspects.

The application was made by Ms Saida Rosemary, wife to Idris Magondu, who is currently facing 89 counts of murder, terrorism and attempted murders.

The other applicant is a brother to Mr Hassan Hussein Agade, who is facing similar charges.

The two were arrested following the twin bombings that left 76 people dead in Kampala late last year. (READ: Three Kenyans charged over Kampala bomb attacks)

In a ruling delivered on Thursday, Justice Nicholas Ombija of the High Court gave the green light for the issues to be raised at EACJ.

Consequently, the case that was pending before him will remain on hold, awaiting the verdict of the EACJ.

This is one of the suits challenging the extradition of six Kenyans to face charges over the Kampala bombings.

In this application, the family wants the EACJ to interpret “the inherent fundamental rights of the criminal suspects to have a fair hearing and a fair extradition process”.

They have challenged the manner in which the police handled the suspects, saying they were arrested and extradited to Uganda without the knowledge of their families.

But the Police Commissioner, commandant of the Anti-Terrorism Police Unit and the Attorney General have said they acted within the law in arresting the six to Ugandan authorities.

Previous attempts by the families to have their relatives brought home were futile.