Five Directors and 3 Editors of the Red pepper Publications can now enjoy a good night sleep after the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Mike Chibita withdrew a case in which the 8 men were charged with libel, computer misuse and publication of content that is prejudicial to national security.
According to case files, the cases against Directors; Arinaitwe Rugyendo, Patrick Mugumya, Johnson Musinguzi, Richard Tusiime and James Mujuni, and editors; Ben Byarabaha, Richard Kintu and Tumusiime Francis, stem from a story published in The Red Pepper issue of November 20 indicating that President Yoweri Museveni was plotting to overthrow his Rwandan counterpart, Paul Kagame.
The Directors and Editors were arrested on November 21, 2017, after a police raid of their offices in Namanve, along Jinja Road and their homes. The would later be arraigned before Buganda Road on November 27, 2017, remanded to Luzira Prisons after a week in detention at police torture chamber of Nalufenya in Jinja.
They were granted bail after a month in detention. Meanwhile, until last month, the company premises in Namanve were cordoned off by police. It took a directive from the president, after a meeting with the accused, to withdraw police.
But this morning, Buganda Road Court Magistrate Samuel Kagoda closed the case after Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) lawyer Abdul Salaam Waiswa told the court he received instructions from DPP on March 15 to withdraw.
Counsel Waiswa told court that the case withdrawal was influenced by an agreement entered between "the accused and the complainants."
As earlier mentioned, the accused met President Yoweri Museveni on the night of January 23, who pardoned them and cautioned them against reckless reporting. The President also allowed them to resume publication of the Red Pepper and its sister products.
They would later resume publications on January 27.