Uganda opposition leader freed on bail
12 July 2016, 19:00
Kampala - Uganda's main opposition leader Kizza Besigye was
granted bail on Tuesday in his ongoing treason trial in the capital Kampala.
High Court judge Wilson Musene
granted the former presidential candidate bail during a hearing on Tuesday
"I'm very, very happy to be free, for now," Besigye said
outside the court.
Besigye was arrested in May and charged with treason after releasing
a video in which he held a mock swearing-in ceremony to protest what he claims
was a fraudulent election in February, won by President Yoweri Museveni.
An official from Besigye's Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) Party
said the bail decision showed the "regaining of credibility" by the
judiciary which is sometimes accused of being under the government's thumb.
Treason is a capital offence in Uganda, but the death penalty has
not been carried out for years. Besigye has been held in the country's maximum
security prison since his arrest.
A long-standing opponent of Museveni, Besigye has been frequently
jailed, placed under house arrest, accused of both treason and rape,
tear-gassed, beaten and hospitalised over the years.
Museveni, 71, has been in power for three decades since taking
power at the head of a rebel army.