The 14 Muslim sheikhs accused of masterminding the murder of several Muslim clerics have been charged afresh before the International Crimes Division of the High court.
This after the same court conducted a pre-trial hearing last month in which it perused the evidence that the prosecution intends to adduce against the accused and confirmed that it’s sufficient to sustain 3 counts including murder, terrorism and attempted murder.
Consequently today the court’s three justices ; Ezekiel Muhanguzi, Percey Tuhiase and Jane Kiggundu read the 3 counts to the accused for purposes of taking plea as the first step in this trial.
The 14 accused including the leader of Tabliq section in the country Sheikh Yunus Kamoga, his brother Sheikh Siraje Kawooya, Sheikh Muta Mudde,Fahad Kalungi, Hakim and Amir Kinene, Yusuf Kakande, Abdul Salaam Kakande and Hamza Kasirye among others have all denied committing these offences .
Prosecution led by Principle State Attorney Lino Anguzu says between December 2013 and June 2014 in districts of Wakiso and Kampala the accused conspired to murder Sheikh Mustafa Bahiga and Sheikh Hassan Kirya.
They have also pleaded not guilty to threatening the lives of Buganda Prince Kassim Nakibinge Kakungulu Deputy Supreme mufti Muhammod Kibaate and Sheikh Haruna Jjemba for either a political, social or religious reason.
The court then proceeded to appoint and swore in the 3 assessors ; Judith Muhairwe , Ahmed Ddumba and Robert Sseguya Lubega who are mere members of the public with no legal training but will follow the trial from a lay man’s point of view and advise the judges on whether to acquit or convict the accused persons .
The case has been adjourned to tomorrow morning for the prosecution to present its first witness.