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Judge Steps Down in Trial of Ugandan Opposition Leader


The judge presiding at the treason trial of Ugandan opposition leader Kizza Besigye has stepped down, citing health concerns and questions regarding his impartiality.

Judge John Bosco Katutsi said Friday in a Kampala courtroom that he has high blood pressure and his doctors advised him against continuing with the case.

Judge Katutsi also noted accusations that he was biased in favor of Besigye. Katutsi called the accusations "rubbish" but said a judge must appear above suspicion. The trial was adjourned until February 15 to allow time for the appointment of another judge.

Katutsi also presided at Besigye's trial on rape charges, and is expected to deliver a verdict in that case soon.

Besigye is the main opposition candidate in Uganda's February 23 presidential elections. His lawyers say all the charges against him have been fabricated to stifle his campaign.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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