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DPP launches victims, witness protection guidelines

Justice Mike J. Chibita, the Director of Public Prosecutions (PHOTO: Daily Monitor) Justice Mike J. Chibita, the Director of Public Prosecutions (PHOTO: Daily Monitor)

 

KAMPALA. For lack of a proper legal framework to protect witnesses/victims of crime, the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), has launched guidelines for prosecutors to use as a temporary measure if they are to effectively combat crime in the country. The guidelines are meant to assist prosecutors to determine the witness protection perimeters and the scope of protection in absence of the legislation. 

“At the moment, as most of us know, there is no legislation in Uganda to provide for protection of witnesses. Indeed it’s a bit awkward that we are launching manuals for victims’ rights and witness protection in absence of an enabling law,” said DPP Mike Chibita during the launch last Friday. He continued: “The alternative should have been us to sit and fold our hands and wait but we had to do what we could with the resources that we have. So even if the enabling legislation is not there, we still with the help of our friends, came up with these guidelines.” 

Justice Chibita lamented of how it has been hard to prosecute criminal cases in absence of an enabling law that protects witnesses. 

He gave an example of how they had to hire a car to be on standby and wait for a witness at the gate to whisk him/her away to the airport and take refuge in another country for fear of being harmed after testifying in a terrorism case he declined to name.

 

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Published: June 11, 2019