British 'gay' accused appears in Ugandan court

2013-12-04 15:11
Briton Bernard Randall, 65, who is being charged with trafficking in obscene publications, attends a trial hearing which was postponed until December, in Entebbe, Uganda. (Rebecca Vassie, AP)

Briton Bernard Randall, 65, who is being charged with trafficking in obscene publications, attends a trial hearing which was postponed until December, in Entebbe, Uganda. (Rebecca Vassie, AP)

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Entebbe - A retired British man appeared in a Ugandan court on Wednesday on charges of "trafficking obscene publications" after police found private pictures of him having sex with another man.

However, the case was adjourned for a second time until 16 December.

Bernard Randall, 65, pleaded not guilty at his initial hearing in October to the charges, which were brought after his laptop was stolen and films on the computer were handed to a Ugandan tabloid newspaper.

Randall, who faces a two-year sentence if convicted, fears he will be deported from Uganda, and officials have refused to extend his visa to stay in the country.

Outside the courtroom, Randall confronted prominent anti-gay pastor Solomon Male, whom he accuses of supporting the two men alleged to have stolen the laptop and passed the images on to the newspaper.

But Male angrily shouted back at Randall.

"You come to Uganda and sodomise our boys? We can't allow that," he said.

A former computer systems expert in the finance industry who comes from Kent in southeast England, Randall first travelled to Uganda in 2011, shortly after his wife died just short of their 40-year wedding anniversary. He returned on holiday to Uganda in September.

Randall, who has two grown-up daughters, only came out as a homosexual after his wife's death.

In 2011, Ugandan gay rights activist David Kato was bludgeoned to death at his home after a newspaper splashed photos, names and addresses of gays in Uganda on the front page along with a yellow banner reading "Hang Them".

Uganda has repeatedly cracked down on gay activists, and proposed legislation - stalled but still awaiting a hearing before parliament - that would see the death penalty imposed for certain homosexual acts if passed.

Read more on:    bernard randall  |  uganda  |  east africa  |  gay rights

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