When Justice Moses Kazibwe of the High Court in Kampala was told to look at Mr Bernhard Glaser, a German National who died at Murchison bay prison in Luzira during his bail application on Wednesday, Kazibwe feared and asked applicants, all Bery’s lawyers to continue.
Mr Glaser’s wound the right side of his face had grown towards the skull, the teeth was all out while his eye and nose were all affected.
Glaser couldn’t listen neither was his ear functional. He was also on life support and couldn’t eat.
It was the fifth time Mr Glaser’s lawyers who included Evans Ochieng, Caleb Alaka and Lester Kaganzi had applied for bail. Luckily, bail was granted with stringent terms which included the depositing of UGX 30 million as cash and the defendant (Who wasn’t understanding what was going on) was asked to return to court by July 16th.
Glaser had been arrested on April 23rd 2019 when he appeared at the CID headquarters in Kibuli to secure bond for the wife Ingrid Glaser who had been arrested when Police searched Mr Glaser’s home.
He had been accused on counts of defilement, Aggravated Trafficking and Operating an illegal home in Mwena, a Landing site in Kalangala District.
He first appeared in the high court held in Masaka before Justice Winfred Nabisinde. His lawyers, led by Leister Kaganzi told court that the client (Bery) was suffering from cancer and had just returned from Belgium, where he had undergone cancer surgery.
Dr Nabisinde, the resident Judge in the Masaka high court circuit declined to offer bail to Mr Glaser and instead opted for a speedy trial.
“The Lawyers continued to argue that a sick person cannot go through such trial. At the time, Mr Glaser had developed a wound on the right jaw,” Denis Ssemambo one of the island residents who attended trial told Entebbe Post.
Glaser, on four different occasions, until October 2019 asked to be granted bail but the Lady Justice refused.
The continuous pleas by the defendant’s lawyers to grant bail to Mr Glaser led to a rift between the lead counsel Lester Kaganzi and the Judge to an extent of failing to relate even in other occurances the two encountered selves in.
“It is at this point that defendant’s lawyers demanded for different judge on the bench to handle the case,” one of Bery’s sureties says.
Well as Justice Nabisinde first declined to leave the bench, she offered to hear an application for bail.
Nabisinde asked for reports from the Uganda Cancer Institute and Mr Glaser’s medical documents that show that he had cancer.
The initial report from Uganda Cancer Institute indicated that well as Glaser had stage four cancer, he could still stand trial.
It is on this basis that Justice Nabisinde ordered that Mr Glaser returns to court to take plea.
“When he came, he asked that he would be more comfortable to express himself in Flemish, a dialect in both Belgium and German which took court back to looking for a Flemish interpreter,” a source told court.
As time went on, Lawyers again requested for bail and Mr Glaser’s condition worsened. He was transferred to Murchison bay prison where he was required to make routine visits to Uganda Cancer Institute for medication.
Another report by the Uganda Cancer institute towards December 2019 indicated that the Cancer Mr Glaser had was no longer manageable by the Institute and thus needed further attention abroad.
On receipt of the recommendations of the Uganda Cancer Institute by the court in Masaka, Justice Winfred Nabisinde had been replaced by Justice Yasin Nyanzi.
However, a handover of instruments of power had been delayed by the retirement of then Principal Judge Yorokamu Bamwine while the incoming Principal Judge Flavian Zeija hadn’t been sworn in.
“We waited on and on as Bery became a permanent resident of the Uganda Cancer Institute even when his illness couldn’t be handled in Uganda,” Kwesigabo Quraish, one of his caretakes told Entebbe Post.
“At that time, he had started losing his senses,” Kwesigabo adds.
By the time the new Principal Judge had been sworn in, the Justice Yasin Nyanzi had scheduled a Pre trial conference and demanded that since Mr Glaser had requested for Flemish as a language to be used in court, an interpreter was required for the bail hearing.
However, the interpreter was not gotten and Mr Glaser’s condition worsened.
A petition to the German Embassy was made in April 2020 by Mr Glaser’s lawyers for which the embassy forwarded to the Foreign Affairs Ministry.
The Ministry of foreign affairs forwarded the petition to the Uganda Prisons Service which advised that Mr Glaser should immediately be taken for further treatment.
The Prison service also indicated in a letter copied to the Principal Judge that Uganda risked if Mr Glaser had died in prison.
Mr Glaser’s file was allocated to Justice Moses Mukiibi who offered Glaser bail on Wednesday and he died on Thursday morning at Luzira Prison.
To the world, Glaser is known as a suspected German Pedophile. However, to Islanders, he opened eyes of the international community towards rendering a hand to the molested and less privileged young girls who have been sexually harrased by their parents and family members.
He looked after more than 200 children under the Ssese Humanitarian Services, Community Based organization.
Glaser first came to Uganda in 2005 as a tourist. He lived on Bufumira Island and later resettled at Mwena where her started the Ssese Humanitarian Services.
He was first accused of child trafficking and molesting in 2013. However, the charges were dropped by the DPP in 2015 after the witnesses remained uncoperative with the Directorate of Public Prosecution.
Glaser survived by a wife Ingrid Glaser and children. He died aged 73.
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