A Ugandan police officer testifying against the incarcerated opposition leader Kizza Besigye admitted to having lied in his testimony Wednesday.
Brian Mark Omwito, a 33-year-old Ugandan intelligence officer, was being cross-examined by Dr. Besigye’s lawyer, Frederick Mpanga, when he admitted to giving false testimony against the accused.
In this case, Besigye, who is also facing treason charges, is accused of disobeying lawful orders from a police officer not to drive along Wandegeya Road during protests against the disputed February elections.
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Here is part of the witness interrogation as documented by the Daily Monitor:
Lawyer: So what you exhibited here is not the actual facts of what transpired. So is the video edited?
Witness: No, it is not edited.
Lawyer: So if the video contains what transpired, then this statement contains lies. One of them must be the truth. Am I correct?
Lawyer: Please then confirm that the video is edited since it doesn’t capture everything.
Witness: No (it is not edited).
Lawyer: If the video is not edited, then your claims that the crowd was throwing stones, the vehicle was towed and the crowd dispersed were all lies.
Lawyer: Having confirmed that you were telling lies, you were also stating lies in your statement when you said that you were covering the whole incident in the video?
In his statement, the police officer had claimed that Besigye ignored police orders not to use Wandegeya Road and that a crowd of his supporters attacked police with stones — a testimony Besigye consistently denied during the interrogation.
Omwito further confirmed to the court that the same police officer who had directed the opposition leader to use Yusuf Lule Road also ordered police officers manning the road to block Besigye’s vehicle.
The case has been adjourned to July 1.
Besigye Charged with Treason
Dr. Besigye, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni’s main political rival, was arrested on May 11, after he dramatically swore himself in as president, just hours before Museveni could be sworn in.
Besigye, who is still in police custody, has been charged with treason, with the prosecution arguing that he attempted to ascend to the office of the president illegally.
He is also being accused of making utterances to the effect that he was going to form a parallel cabinet for the republic of Uganda.
The prosecution further argues that the accused had unlawfully demanded for an independent audit to be done before Museveni could be sworn in.
In 2005, in the run-up to the general election, Besigye was charged with treason but was later acquitted after Museveni was declared the winner.
Besigye has continuously criticized Museveni, who has ruled Uganda for almost three decades.