Uganda judge sentences 2 over World Cup bombings

By GODFREY OLUKYA | September 16, 2011 | 8:10 AM EDT

KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — A Ugandan judge on Friday sentenced two men to prison after they pleaded guilty to being involved in twin suicide bombings that killed 76 people in the East African nation last year.

The men now will serve as witnesses against 12 other suspects going on trial in connection with the bombings, which targeted people watching the World Cup final on television in Uganda's capital.

Ugandan citizen Edris Nsubuga, who faced a possible death penalty after he said he detonated one of the bombs with his mobile phone, was sentenced to 25 years in jail on terrorism charges. Nsubuga's aunt was among those who died in the bombings.

"He confessed that he was manipulated. But he was mindless that victims could have included his relatives," Judge Owiny Dollo said of Nsubuga.

Rwandan citizen Muhamoud Mugisha is to serve five years in prison for conspiracy to commit terrorism. Mugisha said he helped plan the attack with the al-Qaida-linked Somali militant group that claimed responsibility.

Somali insurgent group al-Shabab said the July 2010 bombings were in retaliation for Uganda's participation in the African Union's peacekeeping mission in Somalia.

Henry Sakaki, who lost his brother in the attacks, said he was glad to hear the sentences.

"I am happy that the culprits are being punished," he said.