Buganda Road Court has today barred the press from covering the proceedings of the case in which a police officer is accused of stealing confidential tapes of Inspector General of Police Kale Kayihura, citing security reasons.
The gag order against the media was prompted by the resident state attorney of the court Lino Anguzu.
He told court that the nature of evidence that was going to be laid bare in court once publicized would cause disorder in police force and cabinet leadership.
Anguzu then referred the court presided over by Chief Magistrate Lillian Buchana to look at article 28 (2) of the Constitution and Section 40 (1) of the Magistrates Courts Act and Section 14 (2) of the Official Secrets Act that gives the magistrates authority to hear such cases in camera.
Accordingly, the magistrate asked the lawyers and the concerned parties to go to her chambers and where the trial that kicked off today was heard from in camera as requested by the state.
Angunzu told court that the suspect, Ronald Poteri is facing charges of wrongful communication and leaking information which has never been declassified, which information is likely to be given as part of evidence during the trial
The state prosecutor further explained that the evidence available reveals police investigation tactics and that witnesses who are Police officers will testify revealing some confidential information which might still cause fracas once publicised.
According to the charge sheet it is alleged that on March 2014 at the Criminal Investigations and Intelligence Directorate (CIID) headquarters in Kampala, Poteri, being in possession of an official secret entrusted to him as a person holding an office of the government of Uganda, did pass on this confidential information to persons not authorised to receive it.
It is alleged that Poteri handed the recordings to Jacqueline Mbabazi, the wife of Prime Minister, Amama Mbabazi.
Mbabazi has since come out to allege that the recordings were of Gen Kayihura coaching youth to implicate her husband Amama Mbabazi as harbouring presidential ambitions to replace President Yoweri Museveni come 2016.
Police investigations indicate that Poteri logged in the CIID’s computers and illegally downloaded the said recordings.
Prosecution further alleges that the recordings that were published online are exactly the same as those they have in their records.