Court orders CMI to produce Rutabana for trial

Detained. Mr Benjamine Rutabana. Courtesy photo

The High Court in Kampala has ordered several security agencies including the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) and Internal Security Organisation (ISO) to produce a French citizen who was arrested last year, for trial.

The orders of the court issued by Justice Esta Nambayo, require the aforementioned security agencies to bring Mr Benjamine Rutabana to court on Thursday this week.

Rutabana was arrested in Kampala in September last year by plain clothed-men who identified themselves as being operatives from CMI. It’s alleged that he was taken Mbuya CMI headquarters and taken to ISO, back to CMI and where after his whereabouts are not known.

“It is ordered that a writ of habeas corpus doth issue directed to ISO, CMI, Inspector General of police, Attorney General, commandant special investigations bureau and director of investigations that the body of Mr Benjamine Rutabana be produced in court,” reads in part the court order.

Following the disappearance of Rutabana, his family wrote to the French embassy in Uganda and to the Foreign Affairs ministry on October 28, 2019 but this did not yield to any positive results on finding him.

Following investigations by IRHRI, it was established that Mr Rutabana had flown to Uganda on or about September 8, 2019 on passport number 16DA52086.

It was later learnt that Mr Rutabana had been arrested and held for interrogation to establish the purpose of his visit to Uganda.

They also approached International Relief and Human Rights Initiative (IRHRI) for assistance in tracing for their missing relative.

In a bid to getting him back, his family on February 16, through IRHRI, wrote to the justice ministry, stating their concerns and requesting for his release reasoning that he was unlawfully detained.

A statement signed by Mr Greg Simith Heavens, the president of IRHRI on Friday, showed that the Attorney General had explained to the court about the tireless efforts they had put in to ensure that Mr Rutabana is released to his family.

The attorney general further explained that given the bureaucracies involved in getting to the root of the matter and in order for the Ugandan government to deter any such happenings in the future, the government needed slightly more time before Mr Rutabana could be released to his family.

“On behalf of IRHRRI and on my own behalf, I would like to thank the government of Uganda for observing the rule of law. Rutabana and IRHRRI will be Uganda’s witnesses that it’s not a torturing state,” Mr Greg said.

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