The trial involving Karamoja Affairs Minister Mary Gorreti Kitutu Kimono, who is accused of causing the loss of public property through her alleged involvement in the diversion of iron sheets, has been suspended by the Anti Corruption Court.
High Court Lady Justice Jane Okuo Kajuga, on Friday, put a stop to the trial pending the resolution of an application from Kitutu.
In this application, Kitutu challenges the trial on the basis of claims of torture and numerous human rights violations inflicted on her while in police custody.
Kitutu is facing joint charges alongside her brother Michael Naboya Kitutu and her Personal Assistant Joshua Abaho.
The prosecution alleges that between June 2022 and January 2023, at the office of the Prime Minister’s Stores in Namanve, Mukono District, Kitutu diverted 9,000 prepainted Iron sheets of Gauge 28, intended for the Karamoja Community Empowerment Program, for personal benefit and that of third parties.
It’s also alleged that in January 2023, Kitutu and her Personal Assistant Abaho diverted 5,500 iron sheets for unrelated purposes.
In her application against the Attorney General, Kitutu claims that she was directed by the Prime Minister to meet the CID Director, after which she was arrested and subjected to severe mistreatment.
She asserts that her rights were severely violated, and she was forced to confess to crimes she did not commit.
Kitutu’s lawyers, led by Jude Byamukama, have requested the court to suspend the trial until the application against the Attorney General is resolved.
However, the State Attorney Jonathan Muwaganya, who represents the prosecution, argues that the application is a separate matter from the ongoing trial and suggests that the trial should not be halted.
Justice Kajuga, in her ruling, acknowledged Kitutu’s application based on issues of fundamental human rights and stated that these concerns should be addressed first.
She scheduled the application hearing for September 19th, 2023, while the main case is set to resume on September 14th, 2023. Until the application is decided, the main case will continue to be mentioned in court.