Court voids Uganda sodomy conviction

Story highlights

  • Ex-manager had been in prison since his conviction in September
  • Other man testified he had been drugged
  • Convicted man had been ordered to pay compensation

Kampala, Uganda (CNN)Uganda's High Court this week overturned a 10-year prison sentence imposed on the former manager of the Ugandan national soccer team for sodomy and freed him from prison.

But the ruling did not indicate any acceptance of homosexuality in a country where penalties for such acts are severe. Instead the man's conviction was overturned on the grounds that medical evidence did not support it.
Justice Masalu Musene ruled Tuesday that Chris Mubiru had been wrongly convicted last September because there was no substantial evidence of penetration. Mubiru had appealed the conviction.
    Mubiru had been sentenced to 10 years in prison and ordered to pay the alleged victim 50 million Ugandan shillings, or about $15,000, in compensation. The alleged victim had testified that he had been drugged and the sexual contact was involuntary.

    Conviction based on video clips

    The conviction was for having carnal knowledge of a man against the order of nature. Uganda adopted tough anti-gay laws in 2014.
    Mubiru had been in prison since September 8. He was released Tuesday.
      Musene faulted the lower court magistrate, Flavia Nabakooza, for convicting Mubiru in the absence of persuasive medical evidence, saying the conviction was based instead on video clips in which the people shown could not be clearly identified.
      Mubiru was brought into court in December 2009 after the videos were leaked and still images from them were published and described in a local tabloid. The allegation was that they showed Mubiru at his home in Mengo, a suburb of Kampala, the Ugandan capital, having sex with the man and others.