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Red Pepper editors face trial over 'dead Aine' picture

Christopher Aine

The editor of Red Pepper Newspaper, Ben Byarabaha and managing editor Dickson Mubiru of Kamunye, a sister publication are to face trial after reportedly refusing to disclose the source of the leaked images of a dead body purported to be of that of the missing Christopher Aine.

Byarabaha and Mubiru were detained yesterday after police summoned them for interrogation following the publication of images a 'dead body' of presidential candidate Amama Mbabazi's chief of security Christopher Aine who has been missing since December 20, 2015.

The Special Investigations Division (SID) has forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) a case file against the two journalists.

A source at the Kireka based SID told us that the two journalists declined to reveal the source of the picture that has been circulating on social media since yesterday. Aine's relatives claimed that the picture represented his true likeness.

Aine went missing three weeks ago following a police statement that he was wanted for assaulting police officers in Jinja and participating in clashes between ruling party National Resistance Movement (NRM) and Go Forward supporters in Ntungamo district on December 13, 2015. Police also placed a Shs 20 million bounty for information leading to his arrest.

Police spokesperson Fred Enanga says that the information at police disposal is that Aine was picked from his home by unknown persons dressed in civilian attire. His whereabouts or the feared death has remained a mystery with the family insisting that he was arrested by armed men, some even dressed in police uniform.

The family in tow with the police conducted a search at mortuaries across the country to trace for Aine since the 'leaked' pictures of his look-alike started making rounds in the media and social media since Wednesday. Aine's body hasn't been found nor the body in the leaked picture.

Enanga says that the force is awaiting advice from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in order to proceed with the case.
 
“It became a subject of investigation for us to establish what or was the source of this picture; who took it, where from? Because it means that the last person is the source and is the person who knows where the photo of that dead person whom they claim is a look-alike was taken from.

So with that, we got Ben Byarabaha of Red Pepper and also Mubiru Dickson for Kamunye who used these pictures and came up with a version of events. They have recorded statements with us and of course because it is a critical issue of public interest, the file has gone to the DPP  for further guidance on [on] sanctions against them because we believe this is not a confidential source", Enanga said.

The relatives of Aine including his twin sister, Babirye Aine, his wife and brothers have since recorded statements with police and filed a missing person case.

Mbabazi yesterday said, his legal team has applied for court to issue a habeas corpus (produce in person) order to police.

CRIMINAL SUMMONS ISSUED FOR AINE

The Chief Magistrate's court in Jinja has issued criminal summons for Aine to appear before February 24, 2016 to answer four counts of criminal cases.

Aine is accused of disobeying lawful orders, assault, obstruction and resisting arrest while in Jinja. The cases were allegedly committed in September, 2015 when Mbabazi was barred from accessing Kazimingi grounds in Jinja for a consultative meeting.

The criminal summon document dated January 7, 2016 was issued on the application by prosecution.

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