DPP regrets failure to find Joan Kagezi’s killers

DPP Jane Frances Abodo has expressed regret over the unsolved murder of former principal state attorney Joan Kagezi.

Kagezi, the lead prosecutor in the trial of 15 men accused of a deadly twin bomb attack by the al-Shabaab, was shot dead in March 2015 in Kiwatule, as she drove home.

Kagezi was in charge of the International Crime Division in the Office of the DPP, handling crimes such as terrorism, war crimes, and trafficking in persons. She was also working with the police in the prosecution of those accused of killings, robberies, and terrorism in the Busoga region and Kampala.

However, seven years later, no suspect has been charged. Some of the suspects who were arrested were released for lack of evidence. Addressing journalists on Friday ahead of the Joan Kagezi Memorial Symposium, Abodo says that she regrets why the case has remained unsolved for seven years. She is however hopeful that her killers will be captured since investigations are ongoing.

“I’m at the helm at the edge of this very important institution which manages all prosecutions in the country. So you can imagine that being at the very helm and then one of us was a foot soldier of justice was taken out of action at the battlefield actually at the forefront, and almost seven years down the road we have not yet prosecuted the person, yet every single day we’re prosecuting the person. Every single day anywhere in the country there is a prosecution going on. So you can imagine how that makes me so helpless, really helpless.” said Kagezi.

“I have hope because criminal cases never die and the file has never been closed, investigations are still going on and I have the confidence that actually one day we shall get the killers and we shall stand there and prosecute. We cant wait for that day, every prosecutor. You know the death of Joan woke us up from our slumber,” she added.

Last year, President Museveni said Kagezi’s killers were hiding abroad but the International Police (Interpol) had not brought them into the country. The Joan Kagezi 5th Memorial Week is scheduled to start from April 25-28 under the theme ‘Human Trafficking Challenge: Addressing Emerging Trend’.

According to the deputy DPP James Owere Odumbi, the event is meant to recognize Kagezi for her great contribution to the fight against transnational organized crime and trafficking persons in Uganda as well as to raise awareness in the area of prosecuting trafficking in persons cases with an emphasis on the role of the prosecution.

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