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Uganda president denounces court ruling on trial of opposition leader

[JURIST] Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni [BBC profile] on Monday criticized a Constitutional Court ruling [JURIST report] that halted the court-martial of opposition leader Kizza Besigye [BBC profile] on charges of possessing illegal firearms. Museveni vowed to fight the court ruling politically, even suggesting that a referendum may be used. The government has appealed the ruling to the country's supreme court. The Constitutional Court [official website] ruled that Besigye could not be tried simultaneously in both civilian and military courts on the same charges.

Meanwhile, top judges in Uganda [JURIST news archive] said Tuesday that threats to the judiciary and complex cases like Besigye's would not undermine the independence of the judicial branch. Principal Judge James Ogoola complimented the judges' handling of the Besigye case and said the judiciary would remain independent [Daily Monitor report] despite threats that followed the constitutional court ruling. Xinhuanet has more. From Uganda, the New Vision has local coverage.

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