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

UN Ambassador Power Highlights Plight of Women Prisoners

She launches the 'Free the 20' campaign, aimed at profiling women being deprived of their freedom around the world More

Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

A slight delay in a satellite launch lit up the Florida sky early this morning More

Fleeing IS Killings in Syria, Family Reaches Bavaria

Exhausted, scared and under-nourished, Khalil and Maha's tale mirrors those of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries who have left their homes in the hopes of finding a better life 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.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs