Muhammed Ssebuwufu business man and proprietor of Pine Car Bond together with six others were on Friday found guilty of torturing businesswoman Donah Katusabe to death for failing to clear an outstanding debt of 9m shillings.
Ssebuwufu and six others identified as Godfrey Kayiza, Philip Mirambe, Paul Tasingika, Yoweri Kitayimba, Damaseni Ssentongo and Shaban Odutu were all found guilty of murder, aggravated robbery and kidnap with intent to murder.
However the eighth person identified as Stephen Lwanga was found not guilty of murder but he was convicted for being an accessory to the murder.
Justice Flavia Ssenoga Anglin why delivering her judgment, she said she had carefully evaluated both prosecution and the defence evindence and found that the accused had been squarely placed at the scene of crime at Pine Car bond in Nakasero on the fateful day.
Evidence from the prosecution side states that Ssebuwufu and six others had beaten and tortured Katusabe with sticks and machetes to death and also robbed her belongings after being kidnapped from her home on the fateful day.
Murder and aggravated robbery attract up to a death sentence as the maximum punishment although court has the discretion to give them a lesser penalty.
“There is no credible evidence that A1, A2, A3, A5, A6 and A8 disassociated themselves from the kidnap, attainment of attack on the deceased (Katusabe) that resulted in the injuries that caused her death. The available evidence placed the accused persons at the scene of crime and their defences are also hereby disproved and are rejected,” Justice Senoga ruled.
“I am in disagreement with the opinion of the assessors. I find the accused guilty on all the three counts of the offences. For the reasons given in this judgment, I find that prosecution proved the ingredient of participation of the accused in the commission of the offences beyond reasonable doubt,” she added.
Nevertheless, on 29th April, the lay assessors in the case had stated their opinion advising the judge to acquit the accused on all counts for lack of sufficient evidence linking them to the murder