The Uganda Cancer Institute (UCI) has acknowledged that it cannot handle the illness that Bernhard Glaser, the German national accused of molesting Ugandan girls, is suffering from. Glaser, also known as Bery was found to have stage four cancer of the skin (Melanoma) and diabetes.
Facing 28 counts relating to aggravated defilement and child trafficking, Glaser was arrested in April last year and presented before the Masaka high court Judge Winfred Nabisinde. In a bid to secure his bail, his lawyers Caleb Alaka and Evans Ochieng presented documents before the court indicating that Glaser has terminal illnesses which required urgent medical attention.
He was subjected to a medical examination from the Uganda Cancer Institute (UCI), which in July 2019, released a report indicated that the accused’s illnesses would be easily handled.
On the basis of the report, Justice Nabisinde observed that the findings show that the health condition is not so grave that the accused person could not withstand trial. She noted that Glaser had not been denied access to any medical care and that all medical reports and findings relied upon by the defence team in the bail application don’t reveal that there is an unmanageable condition that can result in death.
While still in detention at Luzira Maximum Prison, Glaser was taken to the Uganda Cancer Institute in Mulago where he has been undergoing cancer treatment.
However, a new report signed by the head of the Uganda Cancer Institute Dr Jackson Orem has recommended that Glaser seeks urgent comprehensive management abroad. According to Dr Orem. There is evidence of progression of cancer, to a level that cannot be handled by the Uganda Cancer Institute (UCI).
According to research conducted by the American Cancer Society, Stage four melanoma means cancer has spread to other parts of the body, such as the lungs, brain, or other organs and tissue. It may have also spread to lymph nodes that are a good distance from the original tumour which makes it hard to cure.
Glaser is now expected to get medical treatment from Germany. However, he remains at the Uganda Cancer Institute (UCI) while awaiting the hearing of his bail application January 27.
Glaser, the Director of Ssese Humanitarian Services, a German/Belgian humanitarian initiative providing rehabilitation services and psychosocial care to victims of sexual offences, was arrested after two children under his care accused him of sexual abuse. The minors aged between 12 and 14, said that Glaser had repeatedly defiled them since 2007.
He was first arrested in November 2013 on the same charges and stayed in detention for more than two months. During an operation at his home, known to many as Bery’s Place, police recovered a dildo and lubricants that he allegedly applied to the victims before defiling them. The detectives found that all girls at the facility had implants, one of the ways used by ladies in family planning.
But in 2015, Justice John Eudes Keitirima dismissed all cases against him due to lack of evidence. The case was reinstated in February 2019.
Former Principal Judge Yorokamu Bamwine has now allocated the case to Justice Jane Francis Abodo after Masaka Resident Judge Winfred Nabisinde stepped aside, as a result of pressure from Bery’s lawyers who branded her biased.