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Uganda frees intelligence official accused of assassination plots

18 September 2014, 22:36

Kampala - A military court in Uganda has freed a top intelligence official accused of plotting to assassinate senior politicians in the east African nation, an official said Thursday.

The case prosecutor said the state had "lost interest" and decided to withdraw the charges against Major Herbert Muramagi Asiimwe, who was arrested in March.

"The state lost interest in prosecuting him and the trial was put off. Since the state withdrew the case and the case is discontinued, the court had to set him free," the prosecutor, Captain Frederick Kangwamu, told AFP without giving any further explanation.

Also read: Somalia's al-Shabaab denies Uganda claim

Muramagi had been a head of marine operations for Uganda's Internal Security Organisation (ISO), an elite counter-intelligence agency responsible for providing national security intelligence to the president and policy makers.

A government-leaning tabloid, Red Pepper, reported earlier this year that the major planned to poison and kill President Yoweri Museveni's son, Muhoozi Kainerugaba, who serves as head of the Special Forces Group responsible for protecting the head of state and key installations.

Kainerugaba is widely seen as a potential, if controversial, choice to succeed to Museveni, one of Africa's longest-serving leaders.

The paper has also reported that Uganda's police chief Kale Kayihura was among other top officials on an alleged hit list.

The accused's lawyer, Nsubuga Mubiru, also confirmed the trial had been abandoned.

"We are happy that my client is free at last, but at the same time saddened that we have spent all this time in court and the state suddenly discontinues the trial," he said.



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