Uganda charges 32 over blasts

2010-08-18 11:32

Kampala - Uganda has charged 32 people in connection with the July 11 bomb attacks in Kampala which killed 76 people as they watched the World Cup final, the country's chief prosecutor said on Wednesday.

Four Ugandan alleged masterminds were among the 32 who were charged with 76 counts of murder, 10 counts of attempted murder and committing acts of terrorism, the director of public prosecutions Richard Butera said.

The four Ugandan men were paraded before the media last week and described how they had orchestrated the attacks at two separate sites on the evening of football's World Cup final.

Butera said all the defendants were charged with the same offenses and will be tried together in one case.

"We have a very strong case. All of these people will go to trial but we may add others later. The investigations are still ongoing," he said.

Among the defendants are 14 Ugandans, 10 Kenyans, six Somalis, one Rwandan and one Pakistani, according to a list published Tuesday by the state-controlled New Vision newspaper.

All the suspects were remanded to prison by Chief Magistrate Deo Ssejjemba, who also ordered the media to stop publishing information about the investigation.

Specific roles in bombings

Butera estimated that the trial, which will take place in the High Court, should begin within four months.

Last Thursday, the head of Uganda's military intelligence James Mugira produced the four Ugandans for the media and instructed them to describe for journalists their specific roles in the bombings.

However, Uganda's police chief Kale Kayihura said the public confessions were "unprofessional", prompting a series of articles in the local media about a battle to take credit for the arrests among Uganda's various security organs.

Mugira said Uganda has apprehended "all those responsible" for carrying out the attacks, which have been claimed by Somalia's al-Qaeda inspired Shabaab Islamists.

Two of the Ugandans who confessed last week said they had fought alongside Shabaab in Somalia but were ordered earlier this year to return to Kampala to plan and execute the July 11 attacks.