Uganda gay sex trial Briton Bernard Randall 'told to leave'

Bernard Randall in court in Uganda Bernard Randall was arrested after thieves stole a laptop from his house

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A retired British man who is facing charges in Uganda of possessing a gay sex video has said he has been told to leave the country.

Bernard Randall, 65, from Kent, said his visa was expiring and police had told him his application for an extension had been refused.

He said officials had sent his passport to the airport to await his departure on 6 December.

It is unclear whether his trial set for 4 December will go ahead, he added.

Mr Randall said police had told him he would be "an illegal alien as I was still in the country after the expiry of my visa".

He said that he wanted the charges to be "formally dropped".

"I want to be able to come back to the country, but at the same time I also want to go home to see my family," he added.

'Virulent hatred'

Mr Randall has claimed senior government officials in Uganda want him out of the country.

"I think they see this deportation as a way of getting me out of the country without it being seen as an anti-homosexual thing," he said.

Dr Mike Jennings, from the University of London's Centre of African Studies, said there had been a shift in attitudes in Uganda over the past five or so years, where homosexual acts are illegal.

"Official attitudes to homosexuality have completely been transformed in the sense that there's now a virulent hatred of people who are gay."

Mr Randall, who is originally from Faversham and appeared in court in Uganda earlier this month, has denied a charge of trafficking obscene publications.

He faces a possible two-year prison sentence if found guilty.

Mr Randall was charged alongside his friend Albert Cheptoyek, 30, a Ugandan national with whom he shares a house.

Mr Cheptoyek has denied a more serious charge of carrying out "acts of gross indecency", which could see him jailed for up to seven years if found guilty.

Mr Randall was arrested after thieves stole a laptop from his house. Stills from a video on it then appeared in a tabloid newspaper.

The court case was adjourned until next week, when both men are due to face trial in Entebbe.

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