The Assistant Inspector General of Police, Edward Ochom says that resident state attorneys shouldn’t rely on evidence of police dogs to sanction files of suspects.
Ochom says that the police should also rely on other evidence other than the dogs, when carrying out investigations.
Ochom was on Wednesday reacting to claims made by inmates at Katojo Government Prison in Fort Portal, who said that police doesn’t carry out any investigations, but rely on evidence of police dogs and then send the files to the Resident State Attorney for sanctioning.
Christopher Byagonza, the leader of the inmates at Katojo, told guests who included the Chief Justice, Benjamin Odoki, Director of Public Prosecutions Richard Butera, James Baba, the Minister of State for Internal Affairs and Johnson Byabashaija, the Uganda Prisons Commissioner General, that nine suspects are on remand, based on evidence of the police dogs.
Baba, who was concerned about the inmates’ claims, told Ochom to comment on the allegations.
Ochom stated that the evidence by the police dogs isn’t enough, because some of the suspects may turn out to be innocent after investigations have been carried out.
Ochom says that the Resident State Attorneys should sanction the files based on evidence corroborated by evidence of the police dogs.
Some of the inmates also claimed that some dogs are not well trained and that they end up tracking people who could be innocent.
However Ochom defended the use of the police dogs, saying that they are well trained to track suspects engaged in murder, robbery and narcotics.
Police dogs have often been taken to scenes of murder, robbery and defilement and used to track suspects. The dogs trace the suspects using the scent.
Byabashaija was leading a team of officials from the Justice, law and Order Sector (JLOS) on a tour of the prison.
During the tour of the prison, the Chief Justice, Benjamin Odoki promised to remind the Justice and constitutional affairs minister, to release inmates who are mentally ill.
Katojo has nine inmates awaiting the minister’s orders. Most of the inmates were arrested and charged with varied capital offenses such as murder, defilement and rape but were not convicted on account of mental illness.
Odoki said that continued detention of these inmates, infringes on their rights.
Under Ugandan criminal law, once a judge orders an individual to await the minister’s order, the mi