This comes days after one of the defence lawyers protested the intended fresh charging of 16 out of 32 suspects.
The Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Mike Chibita has dropped charges against 17 out of the 32 Muslim clerics accused of being behind a wave of killing of top Muslim clerics across the country about two years ago.
In the ongoing pre-trial, the DPP also dropped the charges from six to four despite a protest from one of the defence lawyers.
Mr Twaha Mayanja, one of the defence lawyers, last month protested the intended fresh charging of 17 out of 32 suspects after it emerged that the DPP was planning to secretly charge half of the number of the suspects.
According to the indictment before the International Crimes Division of the High Court, the suspects are currently facing four charges ranging from murder, attempted murder, crimes and terrorism.
The DPP dropped charges of aid and rendering support, and crimes against humanity.
Mr Lino Anguzu and Mr Thomas Jatiko who represented the DPP on Monday presented to the trial judge aNolle prosequi (declaration made to the judge meaning the case against the defendant is being dropped) and added that they have 116 witness statements to pin the remaining 15 suspects including Sheikh Yunus Kamoga.
Those whose charges were dropped are; Mzamil Kasawulira, Serunjogi Arafat alias Bukenya, Badru Bukenya, Alext Okot, Joseph Olanya, Aisha Nakasibante, Charles Okidi, Pte Rajab Mubaje alias Magombe Sulaiman, Issa Matanda alias Charles, Byamukama Abdulratif alias Tusiime, Ssemwogerere Asadu and Solomon Kibirige.
Others are Safiyi Wadwali alias Swafi Shafi, Yusuf Sentamu alias Kasibante, Muhamadi Kalodo alias Kasibante, Ismail Ssentongo and Robert Bampikye.
However, those facing fresh charges include; Sheikh Muhamad Yunus Kamoga, Sheikh Siraj Kawooya, Sekayanja Abdulsalaam alias Kassim Mulumba, Sematimba Abdulhamid Mubiru, Jingo Rashid, Sekito Twaha, Kakande Yusuf alias Abdallah and Sheikh Murta Mudde Bukenya.
Others are Hakim Kinene Muswaswa, Amir Kinene, Sheikh Kalungi Fahad, Hamuza Kasirye, Musa Issa Mubiru and Iga George William alias Hamuza.
Prosecution alleges that Sheikh Kamoga, the leader of Tabliq sect and his co-accused, directed systematic attacks against Shia and Tabliq Muslims, leaving many dead, including Sheikh Mustafa Bahiga at Bwebajja who was gunned down along Entebbe Road, Sheikh Abdulkadir Muwaya, who was killed in Mayuge District, and Sheikh Hassan Kirya, who was shot at and killed in Bweyogerere, Waksio District.
- Mr Twaha Mayanja of Mayanja Nakibule and Company Advocates, the law firm representing 12 Muslim clerics on remand over the killing of Muslim leaders two years ago, briefs his clients at the High Court recently.