By Nasser Kasozi Akandwanaho
The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Jane Frances Abodo has Tuesday “decided to discontinue proceedings” against human rights lawyer, Nicholas Opiyo.
Opiyo was in December 2020 arrested and charged with money laundering after his closed NGO, Chapter Four received $340,000.
Whereas case has been on going in the Court, High Court judge Lawrence Gidudu last week issued an ultimatum of seven days to government to complete investigating the corruption case brought against Opiyo or have the charges against him terminated.
Justice Gidudu gave the last caution to the prosecution last Wednesday.
“The court is mandated to balance the right of the State to prosecute offenders to punish crime in society with the right of an accused to have a fair, speedy and public trial before an impartial court. Consequently, I make the following orders to dispose of this application,” held Justice Gidudu.
“The prosecution (DPP) is given seven days from the date hereof, to commit the applicant (lawyer Opiyo) for trial before the High Court and disclose its case to the accused. For avoidance of doubt, this is before the closure of business on September 15, 2021 (this Wednesday),” he added.
The judge further warned that should the DPP fail to commit Mr Opiyo to the High Court for trial, his case shall be terminated.
“If after September 15, the applicant (Mr Opiyo) has not been committed for trial to the High Court, then the prosecution of the applicant in criminal case 106 of 2020 shall stand terminated under section 17 (2) of the Judicature Act to prevent abuse of the process of the court by curtailing delays in prosecuting the applicant. There are no orders as to costs,” Justice Gidudu further ordered.