By Ruth Anderah
The High Court’s Anti-Corruption Division has given the Directorate of Public Prosecutions only seven days within which to complete its investigations into a money laundering case against human rights lawyer Nicholas Opiyo.
The order has been issued by Justice Lawrence Gidudu, who says if that if this is not done, the court will dismiss the charges against Opiyo, who is also the Executive Director Chapter Four- a non-profit legal and advocacy organization focused on defending civil liberties.
According to the order, the Directorate of Public Prosecutions has been given up to September 15th, to conclude its inquiries.
Court’s decision followed an application filed by Opiyo challenging failure by police to show progress with investigations on the said charges.
The prosecution alleges that Opiyo received $340,000 through the Chapter Four Uganda, a bank account in Stanbic Bank Garden City Branch, which funds were said to be proceeds of crime.
He also noted that the delay to start the trial has infringed on his right to a fair and speedy trial provided in the constitution and it has also put him at a great expense and suffering his reputation and brand image as a Human Rights Lawyer.
Opiyo’s Chapter Four Uganda has since been closed by the Government of Uganda together with 53 other Non-Governmental Organizations for alleged failure to comply with legislation covering their operations.