, KAMPALA, June11 – Four Ugandans have been jailed for up to 30 years for murdering a Belgian tourist hiking in a national park over six years ago, prosecutors said Wednesday.
“Justice has finally been delivered,” Ugandan military prosecutor Captain Fred Kangwamu told AFP.
“The court… convicted the men to between 30 and 10 years for the killing of Annick Van De Venster, who was a Belgian tourist.”
The 35-year-old victim was killed in February 2008 while camping during a trek in eastern Uganda’s Mount Elgon national park, where she was accompanied by an armed guide.
The four, who denied the charges, were tried by court martial despite being civilians because they were arrested holding “weapons reserved for the army”, and therefore fell under military law.
“One of the accused Fred Kipsang, was sentenced to 30 years in jail, his three other accomplices, Moses Chemutai, Patrick Chebules and Kenneth Chepukui received jail terms of 10 years each,” Kangwamu said.
The sentencing took place on Friday.
No motive was given for the killing and nothing was stolen, as the victim’s armed guard chased the attackers away.
The government-run New Vision newspaper quoted court documents that said the four were arms smugglers operating between Uganda and Kenya, who had fired at the victim after seeing her electric torch, mistaking it for a patrol of armed park rangers.