Judge Stephen Mubiru

Spy-thriller fizzles as Ugandan court acquits suspect

Official security networks in Uganda and neighbouring Sudan were set buzzing in 2013 when a Sudanese diplomat was expelled from Uganda. Shortly afterwards the story broke of the arrest of a Ugandan clerk in his country’s foreign intelligence agency, the External Security Organisation. Stephen Kisembo, a staffer of the ESO, had been found with secret documents, according to the story, and was to stand trial. He was alleged to have been delivering similar documents over several years to Sudanese diplomats, in a plan devised by the expelled envoy.

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It made a great splash in the media when Ugandan civil servant Stephen Kisembo was arrested and charged with spying for Sudan. When the high court of Uganda acquitted him recently, however, not so much.

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