SEPTEMBER 30, 2010: Soldiers Get 45 Years in Prison for Murder

Soldiers Get 45 Years in Prison for Murder

SOURCE: The Monitor

By James Eriku

The High Court sitting in Gulu has sentenced two UPDF soldiers of the 4th Division to 45 years each in prison for shooting dead a woman in Gulu Municipality. The soldiers, Michael Onek Oloya and Francis Oryem, in 2003 killed Ms Bicentina Lakot at her home in Limo Sub-Ward, Laroo Division.

Delivering his ruling last Friday, Justice Remmy Kasule said although the two soldiers were tasked with protecting lives and properties of civilians, they deliberately decided to use their weapons to kill an innocent civilian.

"While it is true that there had been insurgency in northern Uganda, particularly Gulu, where this crime took place, this provided no justification for each of the two accused persons to kill the deceased," the ruling, a copy of which Daily Monitor has seen reads in part.

Justice Kasule said: "The deceased, a retired nurse, who was staying at her home together with her adult children, was killed in circumstances, where she did not in any way provoke any of the two accused persons."

Murder, which is a capital offence, carries a maximum sentence of death.

Killings increase

Recent statistics from the regional police headquarters indicate that cases of armed personnel killing innocent civilians by shooting are on the rise in northern Uganda as the region recovers from the two decades of the LRA insurgency.

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