By Michael Odeng
In a twist of events, the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP), has asked the High Court to consider sending back the case of Brian Isiko, who was found guilty for stalking Kabarol Woman Member of Parliament, Sylvia Rwabwogo, to the magistrate court for re-trial.
On Wednesday, State Attorney Joan Tumwikirize asked Justice Jane Frances Abodo of the High Court Criminal Division for retrial after, Ramadhan Waiswa, Isiko’s lawyer poked holes into the trial which saw his client handed a two year by Gladys Kamasanyu, the Buganda Road Court Grade One Magistrate.
Waiswa told court that the whole process that led to Isiko‘s conviction was null and void since he never pleaded guilty to the changes to cyber harassment and offensive communication as Kamasanyu ruled.
Waiswa argued that the 25 year old student of YMCA Jinja Branch was not equivocal in admitting the charges as the law mandates.
Waiswa proceeded to quote verbatim what Isiko told Kamasanyu: “Everything she [Rwabwogo] said is correct. I wanted her to become a personal friend. I ask for forgiveness. I also wanted her to give me ideas on how to run my poultry project,” he said. “I did not have any bad intention. In fact, that is why I agreed to meet her so that we could talk.”
Waiswa revealed to court that Isiko had initially denied the charges upon being read to him and so in order to change his plea, Kamasanyu’s court had to go through another process of re-reading the charges and telling him the ramifications of admitting to charges, something he said was never complied with.
“The magistrate erred in law when she changed the plea of the applicant from not guilty to guilty,” Waiswa submitted.
Waiswa also said Kamasanyu failed to properly evaluate the specific evidence supporting each count on the charge sheet.
Waiswa said a look at the messages that Isiko dispatched to Rwabwogo’s phone show that they were but not limited to a line from the late Don Williams Song “some broken hearts never mend”, Akon’s “Sorry, blame it on me” and Enrique Iglesias’ “Number one” which does not contain any offensive, luscious, obscene or indecent message to compel Kamasanyu to invoke the offensive communication charge.
He said Kamasanyu did not evaluate the evidence on record while convicting him earlier this year, arguing that there is no evidence to prove either cyber harassment or offensive communication charges.
Isiko was granted cash bail of sh500, 000 on August 3, after presenting substantial sureties in court. His sureties; Grace Regan Muganza, a retired UPDF officer and Wako Godfrey, the assistant academic registrar of Kyambogo University, were each bonded on non-cash bail of sh5m.
While granting Isiko bail, justice Abodo said he (Isiko) retains the presumption of innocence.
He, however, was cautioned against contacting MP Rwabwogo until the matter is determined.