TZ Court delays ruling on rebel leader’s extradition to Uganda

Jamil Mukulu

Jamil Mukulu

The ruling on the ongoing extradition proceedings in the case involving the leader of Congo-based Ugandan Islamist rebel group Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), Jamil Mukulu has been delayed by a court in Dar es Salaam.

The court is seeking additional information in support of the application to satisfy the condition that upon extradition to Uganda, the respondent will face murder charges only.

Principal Resident Magistrate, Cyprian Mkeha of the Kisutu Resident Magistrates’ Court in Dar es Salaam announced Thursday that after going through submissions from both parties he discovered that there was discrepancies on what the defendant was being sought for.

“Section 7 (1) of the London Scheme within the Commonwealth countries provides for that, If the court considers the material provided in support of a request for extradition is insufficient, the competent authority in the requested country may seek such additional information as it considers necessary from the requesting country, to be provided within such reasonable period of time as it may specify” Magistrate Mkeha said.

He stressed that after a careful scrutiny of the documents that were filed along with the extradition application, it was discovered that among the 22 counts Mukulu is being charged with, only 8 related to murder.

“The applicant informed the court that the respondent will face a trial on only murder charges, but the charge sheet stated otherwise for it contained other offences of aggravated robbery, crimes against humanity, murder and attempted murder that Mukulu had also been involved in.” he pointed out.

The Magistrate told the court that the delay on the ruling was to ensure that the respondent was being granted a fair trial as the Extradition Act had required and not otherwise.

“It is to my knowledge that the Magistrate can inquire for additional information if there was any form of uncertainty before issuing a ruling.” Mkeha went on.

He adjourned the proceedings for 7 days during which period the material to correct the inconsistencies will be furnished by the Ugandan authorities before he can issue his ruling.

The prosecution led by Principal State Attorney Edwin Kakolaki agreed to file the documents before June 19, for the case to proceed.

Defence Counsel Martin Rwehumbiza had no objection with the submissions and the respondent was ordered to remain in remand custody.

Mukulu, a Roman Catholic-converted Muslim is accused of commanding a spate of brutal attacks against civilians in both Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) since the late 1990s.

He was arrested by Tanzanian police in April for unlawful possession of a fire arm before they knew he was actually the wanted rebel leader, he is reported to have entered the country from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).