Uganda's Besigye charged after deadly rally

2012-03-28 14:43
Kampala - A Ugandan court on Wednesday charged the country's main opposition leader Kizza Besigye with an offence linked to the killing of a police officer during a rally last week.

Besigye and three other opposition activists were charged with "forming an unlawful society with the purpose of inciting members of the public against the police which led to the death" of an officer, and injuries to two others.

The opposition chief, who has led a series of protests against the high cost of living in Uganda, denied the charges and was freed on bail.

"They are the most ridiculous charges," Besigye told AFP.

The police officer died after being hit with a stone last week after security forces arrested Besigye and fired teargas to disperse opposition supporters in the capital Kampala.

Besigye's lawyer said the charges were the most serious yet against the opposition leader, who has been repeatedly arrested as security forces violently clamped down on his protests launched last year.

"This is more serious than before, as the maximum sentence is seven years... they are saying that they are somehow complicit in the death," said lawyer David Mpanga.

Besigye will return to court on April 17.

Nine other people were still being held for questioning over the police officer's death, a Kampala police spokesperson said.

Read more on:    kizza besigye  |  uganda  |  east africa

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