Africa

Ugandans jailed for Kampala World Cup bombing

Edris Nsubuga weeps at a press conference given by the Ugandan military on 12 August 12 2010
Image caption Edris Nsubuga (right) avoided the death penalty by pleading guilty

Two Ugandans have been sent to jail after pleading guilty to involvement in the 2010 bombings that killed at least 76 people in the capital, Kampala.

Edris Nsubuga, who had admitted planting the explosives, was sentenced to 25 years in prison, while Muhamoud Mugisha got five years for conspiracy.

Somalia's Islamist group al-Shabab said it carried out the attacks.

The bombs were planted at a bar and restaurant where people had gathered to watch the World Cup final on TV.

Al-Shabab, which has links to al-Qaeda, said the attack was retaliation for Uganda's military support for the UN-backed government in Somalia.

The prosecution had asked for them not to be given the maximum punishments because they had pleaded guilty.

Nsubuga could have faced the death penalty.

'Manipulated'

Earlier this week, he pleaded guilty to three counts of terrorism, including the "intention to unlawfully deliver and discharge an explosive".

Judge Alfonse Owiny-Dollo noted that Nsubuga had sought forgiveness and said he had been manipulated while he was experiencing "domestic difficulties".

"I do hope he uses his time in prison as a retreat to reflect on the full enormity of the action for which I have had to keep him away from society," the judge said.

Mugisha admitted "conspiracy to commit acts of terrorism".

During extra-judicial hearings last year, Mugisha said he had links with al-Qaeda.

Another 12 suspects have denied the charges and remain on trial.

Charges were dropped for lack of evidence against five suspects, including Kenyan human rights activist Al-Amin Kimathi, who had spent a year in custody.

He had accused Kenya of illegally transferring suspects to Uganda and had gone to advise them when he was detained.

He said he was being punished for his human rights work exposing "illegal rendition".

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