Thursday, April 20, 2006


Kizza Besigye is accused of working with the LRA rebels. The star prosecution witness in the treason trial of Ugandan opposition leader Kizza Besigye has appeared in court, scotching reports she had fled. Jennifer Aryemo said she needed an operation on her left ear and may need a hearing aid. Correspondents say this raised laughter in court, following accusations she was being coached via an earpiece hidden under a wig and a headscarf. Dr Besigye denies meeting rebels and says the charges are political.

Judge Vincent Kagaba, who on Wednesday gave prosecutors a day to produce their witness in court, warned Ms Aryemo, 34, that she would have to return to finish her testimony. "If you stop at this stage, your evidence will be treated as useless," he said. Deputy Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Simon Byabakama Mugenyi asked for an apology from the defence lawyers who had said Ms Aryemo had fled the country. She has told the court that Dr Besigye had sent her to meet the Lord's Resistance Army rebels in 2001.

After defence accusations she was being coached last week, the judge ordered her not to wear her "mountainous headgear" the next time she appeared in the witness stand. Earlier this month, Dr Besigye lost an appeal against his election defeat to President Yoweri Museveni in February. Last month, a judge dismissed rape charges against him, saying the prosecution case had been "crude and amateurish".



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