The embattled Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Siraje Bakaleke has fled the country, State Attorney Harriet Angom has told court.
Angom yesterday informed the Anti-Corruption Court that the Internal Affairs was tracking Bakaleke’s travel history. Bakaleke is accused of kidnap and fraud, involving sh 1.5 bn. “We communicated to the internal affairs ministry and the police records indicate that Bakaleke must have fled the country,” Angom said.
The court was presided over by Grade One Magistrate Moses Nebende. Angom also informed court that investigations into the matter are complete, but it is Bakaleke who is delaying the trial. The court has so far issued a warrant of arrest against Bakaleke three times, but he has not shown up in court.
Bakaleke was formerly the political education chief under the Police’s Directorate of Political Commissariat. By the time of kidnap of Koreans, he as Regional Police Commander, Kampala South. Bakaleke and other six police officers are facing 12 counts of abuse of office, obtaining money by false pretense, embezzlement and kidnapping with intent to confine a person.
They were charged alongside city lawyer Paul Wanyoto Mugoya and Samuel Nabeta Mulowoza, 30, the Managing Director of Eye Power Engineering Company Limited.
All the Policemen, including Bakaleke, were recently suspended from their stations, pending investigations. They are currently out on bail.
The charge of embezzlement and kidnap attracts penalty of 10 years in prison, while abuse of office attracts 7 years and conspiracy to defraud 3 years, upon conviction.
Prosecution alleges that policemen and others at large, between February 4 and 7, this year committed arbitrary acts of causing illegal arrest and confinement of Jan Seungkwon, Park Seungphoon, and Ha Dongsub, all South Koreans nationals. The accused are said to have defrauded the three South Koreans businessmen of $415,000 (about 1.5bn) in a gold scam on February 8.
Lawyer Mugoya is also accused of obtaining $30,000 (about 114m) from Jan Seungkwon by falsely pretending that the money was required as legal fees to handle a criminal case that had led to their arrest, whereas not.