The 65-year-old British man on trial for homosexuality in Uganda has been spared jail but is to be returned to the UK.
Bernard Randall, a retiree living in Uganda, and his Ugandan friend and housemate Albert Cheptoyek (30) were arrested in October 2013 for “acts of gross indecency”.
Randall was also charged with “trafficking obscene publications” after a private sex video on his laptop, which was stolen from his home, was exposed by the notoriously homophobic Red Pepper tabloid.
On Wednesday, Judge Hellen Ajio dropped the charges against Randall and ordered him to be deported from Uganda within 12 hours, avoiding a possible international incident if he were jailed.
According to the International Business Times, a prosecutor accused Randall of “corrupting Uganda’s youths”.
Randall responded by shouting “Lies!” in court. He came out as gay after his wife’s death and began visiting Uganda in 2011.
Cheptoyek, however, still does not know his fate and will continue to be prosecuted. He could face seven years in jail if found guilty of having committed an “act of gross indecency with another person”.
In February last year, David Cecil, a British man living in Uganda was deported for putting on a banned gay-themed play at a small cultural centre in Kampala. He was forced to leave behind his Ugandan girlfriend and young daughter.
Same-sex sexual activity is illegal in Uganda, with penalties including life imprisonment. The country’s pending Anti-Homosexuality Bill which will further criminalise homosexuality remains unsigned by President Yoweri Museveni.