Besigye pleads not guilty to treason charges in Uganda

[JURIST] Ugandan opposition leader Kizza Besigye [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] and 22 others pleaded not guilty to treason charges Tuesday at the opening of their trial in Kampala. The charges allege that the men plotted to forcefully overthrow the Ugandan government in operations in Kampala, in Rwanda, and in the Democratic Republic of Congo between 2001 and 2004. If convicted, the men could face the death penalty. Proceedings were adjourned until Wednesday due to a lack of interpreters for prosecution witnesses. AP has more.

Since his 2001 departure from the current government led by President Yoweri Museveni [BBC profile], Besigye has emerged as the main opposition to his former party and is the leader of the Forum for Democratic Change [party website] which is currently challenging the results [JURIST report] of the February 23 presidential elections [JURIST report] in which Museveni was re-elected. In recent months Besigye has been hauled repeatedly before civilian and military courts to answer various charges against him that he says are politically-motivated. Earlier this month, a Uganda High Court judge found him not guilty [JURIST report] of rape.



 

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