US couple could get death penalty in Uganda over child trafficking charges

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US couple could get death penalty in Uganda over child trafficking charges

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An American couple could be facing the death penalty in Uganda after being charged with “aggravated trafficking in children.”

Nicholas Spencer, 32, and Mackenzie Leigh Mathias Spencer, 32, have previously been charged with aggravated torture of a child and could face death if convicted, according to Reuters.

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The couple was detained on Dec. 9 after being charged for allegedly torturing a child they had living with them under foster care.

Lawyers for the couple told the Monitor, a Ugandan news outlet, the authorities have no evidence, calling it a “fishing expedition” and saying that the new charge “doesn’t make sense.” The couple has pleaded not guilty to the first charge but have not entered a plea for the second charge because they have not had the opportunity to do so.

“We will begin the process of committing them to the High Court but we can’t say when that will be finalised so they can be produced in court,” Jacquelyne Okui, spokeswoman for the public prosecutor’s office, said to Reuters.

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Uganda is also facing an outbreak of Ebola, which has prompted the U.S. to implement enhanced screenings for all passengers arriving from the country.

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