Government acts tough on Besigye’s foreign travel


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Nov 22, 2007


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Joined Nov 22, 2007
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Foreign travel has been made even harder for opposition leader Kizza Besigye after the High Court announced new regulations restricting access to his passport.

The new procedure requires that after the Forum for Democratic Change president has applied for his passport, an open court headed by a judge listens to his plea before making a ruling.

Previously, Dr Besigye, whose passport was withdrawn by the State over treason charges, would access the identification through the High Court registrar.
The new measures mean the Director of Public Prosecutions can object to his application—and possibly bar the opposition leader from leaving the country.

Failed trip
Dr Besigye yesterday told Daily Monitor that he had planned to travel to the US last week but court refused to release his passport, citing the new changes.

“I wanted to travel to USA last week but the Judiciary insisted that we must go through an open court process and get a judge,” said Dr Besigye, who finally got his passport on Tuesday and is slated to leave the country later this week.

“These are just delaying tactics of the government to frustrate my programmes,” added Dr Besigye, who will be attending conferences organised by FDC supporters in the Diaspora.

A source in the Judiciary talking on condition of anonymity said the institution could have introduced the new measures considering that other high profile suspects face tough conditions, including depositing land titles, before accessing their passports.

Besigye’s lawyer, Mr David Mpanga, last week asked the Constitutional Court to permanently block his client’s treason trial and murder charges brought against him in the run-up to the 2006 elections.

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