22 psychiatric inmates discovered at Bomana

A judge’s visit to Bomana prison to confirm pending cases before the National Court has uncovered another list of psychiatric inmates who were referred from other prisons for assessments at Laloki.

A similar case to what was discovered two years ago by the National Court, there are 22 inmates currently at Bomana.

They were referred for assessment at Laloki to verify their state of mind. This has to be done for those waiting trial to find out if they will be in the right state of mind to answer to the allegations, which they are arrested and charged for.  

Under the law, before a person can plead to a charge, he must be of sane mind or understand what he is answering to.

The visit conducted by Justice Panuel Mogish, state prosecutors and lawyers from the Public Solicitor’s office was to confirm pending cases of inmates and answer to general queries regarding the work of the courts from inmates.

It was found during the visit that some inmates who were transferred from other prisons for treatment at Laloki did not have files.

Justice Mogish said some of those inmates have seen doctors and gone through treatment.

“There’s some who have gone through the system. Doctor said they are alright but they are still awaiting and when they wait, their conditions go down and they go back into square one again,” Justice Mogish stated.

“That’s the reason why I conducted the VJ yesterday, to follow up on these type of people. People that that we all have forgotten.

“Two years ago there were 17-plus inmates. We dealt with them in three months and had them repatriated.

“Everybody is entitled to justice, that’s the fact. Disable man, sane man, mute.”

During the visit, they found an inmate who was deemed fit to plead by doctors, however is still in custody for over a year. 

“There is a breakdown here, between the CS and the courts,” Justice Mogish added.

Bomana Jail Commander Haraha Kiddy Keko said fortnightly visits are made by psychiatric doctors from Laloki.

12 inmates are waiting to be repatriated while two will undergo further clearance by doctors.

The identified inmates will have their files further reviewed in court next week.

Sally Pokiton