Bukenya fraud trial halted

The Constitutional Court has temporarily halted the ongoing trial of former Vice President Prof. Gilbert Bukenya on charges of fraud.

The trial has been stopped until the Constitutional Court gives its final verdict on whether or not his trial before the Anti-Corruption Court is lawful.

The ruling was read by the registrar Court of Appeal Erias Kisawuzi on behalf of the three judges, led by Deputy Chief Justice Alice Mpagi Bahigeine.

Bukenya went to the Constitutional Court challenging his on-going trial before the Anti-Corruption Court which he says is illegal.

In his petition, Prof. Bukenya says the decisions taken by the CHOGM Cabinet sub-committee which he chaired were collective and not taken at individual level.

He argues that the office of the Vice President is not independent and that he cannot be prosecuted for acting on behalf of the President.

Prof. Bukenya faces charges of abuse of office arising from a procurement deal for vehicles and motor bikes, ahead of the 2007 Common Wealth Heads of Government Meeting.

The judges observed that his petition raised crucial constitutional matters on which the Court must pronounce itself.

The hearing of the petition begins on 5th July.

Story by Ruth Anderah