High Court Kampala has granted a Shs100 million cash bail to Mackeinze Leing Spencer and her husband Nicholas Spencer, an American couple accused of torturing their 10-old fostered child.
The couple appeared before Justice Isaac Muwata who ordered each to pay Shs50 million and each of their 4 Ugandan sureties was ordered to execute a non-cash bond of Shs50 million to ensure their return in court whenever required.
The couple was also directed to deposit their passports before court and barred from traveling out of Uganda without court’s permission. Additionally, the couple is expected to report before the Deputy Registrar High Court International Crimes Division once a month.
While releasing the couple, the judge ruled that their health conditions cannot be managed by Luzira prison.
Last month, the two through their lawyer David Mpanga asked Justice Isaac Muwata to temporarily release them from Luzira prison on grounds that they have health conditions that are unfavorable for prison conditions.
The state says between 2020 and 2022, the couple recruited, transported, and tortured a vulnerable ten-year-old boy by administering harsh punishments to the child, deprived him of his right to education, and kept him locked in a small room that also doubled as his bedroom.
The minor was allegedly forced to sit on a cold tiled floor without clothes and would sleep on a bed without a mattress in addition to a camera that the couple installed in his room to monitor all his movements.
They are charged with four offences of aggravated torture, unlawful stay in Uganda, employment without a work permit, and trafficking in persons which attracts a maximum penalty of death upon conviction.
Meanwhile, on March 16, 2023, Buganda Road Chief Magistrates Court sent the couple to High Court International Crimes Division for trial after the completion of police investigations.