News / Africa

Ugandan Court Dismisses Treason Charges Against Besigye

Kizza Besigye says the court's ruling is a befitting indictment of the government of President Yoweri Museveni and its disregard for the constitution

Uganda opposition leader Kizza Besigye
Uganda opposition leader Kizza Besigye

Multimedia

Audio
  • Uganda opposition leader Kizza Besigye spoke with Butty

James Butty

Uganda opposition leader Kizza Besigye is calling for the resignation of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Attorney General after Uganda’s Constitutional Court Tuesday ordered he and 10 co-defendants be freed from any further prosecution on treason charges.

The judges said there would be no further trial because the fundamental human rights of Besigye and the others had been grossly violated.

Besigye told VOA the court ruling is a befitting indictment of the Museveni government and how it has constantly violated the Ugandan constitution.

“The decision has come as a great relief to me because I can now breathe air as a non-prisoner. I have, over the years, been greatly inconvenienced. I cannot travel without a lengthy court process of securing my passport, which is kept by the court as part of my bail conditions. I think the judgment also was good in that it gave a befitting indictment of the regime that is in power in Uganda today to show how it has grossly abused the trust Ugandans placed in them,” he said.

Besigye said the government committed many transgressions of the constitution and that the judges’ ruling proved the Ugandan judicial system was dysfunctional. He also said the judgment means he can now travel freely without first notifying the authorities.

“The judgment today means that I do not have any case whatsoever against me, and my other colleagues with whom I was charged. In fact, the judgment went further to say that no case can (be) brought against me in the future in any court in Uganda relating to the same allegations that had (been) made in this particular case. To that extent, therefore, I am today a free man,” Besigye said.

Besigye said the court has done its part by revealing to Ugandans what President Museveni has done. Now, he said it was up to Ugandans to take the ruling to the polls next year and make sure that President Museveni is not returned.

“I think that the indictment is timely considering that we are coming into an election. Since the courts cannot do anything about such a regime, I think they have done their duty to explain to the people of Uganda what the government has done in this particular case. And, our duty is to extend that judgment to the electoral arena so that the people of Uganda can appropriately ensure that such a regime does not come anywhere near public offices again,” Besigye said.

You May Like

ASEAN Ministers Set to Push for South China Sea Agreements

According to documents obtained by VOA Khmer, ministers will stand up for 'freedom of navigation, unimpeded lawful maritime commerce, trade and over flight' More

Puerto Rico Defaults on $58M Debt Payment

Payment was due Saturday, default is first in country's 117 years as a United States possession More

Turkish Public Fears Jihadists More Than Kurds

Turkey facing twin threats of terrorism by Islamic State and PKK Kurdish separatists, says President Erdogan’s ruling AK Party More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Communityi
X
Sharon Behn
August 03, 2015 2:23 PM
A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs