The High Court in Kampala will on Thursday hear an application in which Dr Kizza Besigye is challenging the decision by the lower court at Buganda Road for denying him bail.
The four-time presidential candidate and former FDC Opposition leader was on June 15 arrested by security operatives in downtown Kampala for rallying residents to protest the skyrocketing commodity prices.
He was arraigned before Buganda Road Court and charged with incitement to violence two days later.
However, the presiding magistrate, Mr Asuman Muhumuza, declined to release him and his co-accused, Mr Samuel Walter Lubega Mukaaku, on grounds that they had become “habitual offenders”.
Through their lawyers, Dr Besigye and Mr Mukaaku have challenged the lower court’s decision, citing several grounds.
“The trial magistrate wrongfully denied the applicants bail basing on a track record of unprosecuted frivolous criminal cases opened against them by the State,” court records state in part.
“The decision of the learned trial magistrate denying bail based on the aforementioned reasons derogated the applicant’s rights to a fair hearing, civil liberties and the presumption of innocence,” they add.
In his affidavit to support his application, Dr Besigye says: “His worship Asuman Muhumuza denied us bail on the ground of previous antecedents, particularly that we have been charged before the same court on similar charges and he would not guarantee that if granted bail, we would not commit the same offence,”Dr Besigye states.
“The magistrate unfairly and injudiciously exercised his discretion by relying onto charges in respect of which I have not been convicted of any offense before. I am aware that the cornerstone of our criminal justice system, as laid out in the Constitution, is the presumption of innocence until proven guilty and I have not been convicted of any offense before,” he added.
Dr Besigye also avers that he has previously been granted bail and has never absconded and that the current charges that he is facing were brought against him in bad faith by the State.
Additional Reporting by Daily Monitor