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Uganda judge refuses to dismiss treason charge against opposition leader

[JURIST] Ugandan High Court Justice John Bosco Katutsi [official profile] has denied a defense motion to dismiss treason charges [JURIST report] against opposition leader Kizza Besigye [BBC profile] on the grounds of vagueness. Defense lawyers had argued that the charges, alleging Besigye's involvement in a plot to overthrow the government, failed to identify the ringleader and offered no details of the alleged conspiracy. The court rejected the motion to dismiss and ordered the government to present amended charges on February 3. is also charged with rape [JURIST report]. In that trial, also being presided over by Katutsi, the prosecution rested its case Wednesday and defense lawyers declined to respond. Besigye also faces terrorism and weapons charges [JURIST report] that will be tried in military court after proceedings in the civil court are concluded. He has denied all charges, asserting they are politically motivated. Besigye remains on the ballot as the main opposition candidate challenging President Yoweri for president, but will be removed if convicted of any of the charges. Elections are scheduled for February 23. AFP has more. From , the Daily Monitor has local coverage.

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