Nico Hines, London Times, August 3, 2007
A son of Idi Amin, the former Ugandan dictator, has been sentenced to five years in jail for his part in a murderous London gang attack. Faisal Wangita, 25, was one of a group of 40 that attacked and killed Mahir Osman, 18, in a busy north London street in January 2006.
The Somali teenager was stabbed 20 times, attacked with baseball bats, bottles, hammers and scaffold poles, punched and kicked. He died within a minute of the start of his assault, prosecutors told London’s Central Criminal Court.
The attack, outside Camden Town underground station, was part of a bitter turf war between the Centric Boys, of which Wangita was a member, and the North London Somalis gang.
“It was a premeditated attack using a level of violence I have rarely seen,” said Detective Chief Inspector Michael Broster.
The attack resulted in two criminal trials, in total 13 people have been convicted for the attack, including three men found guilty of murder. Wangita was acquitted of murder but was jailed for five years in April for conspiracy to wound and violent disorder for kicking Osman when he was on the ground. Judge Stephen Kramer described him as a “serious risk to the public.”
The conviction could not be reported until today for fear of prejudicing an ongoing and related trial. The judge had ruled that Wangita’s parentage should be kept from the jury in case it proved prejudicial. His father, Idi Amin, was one of the most feared and brutal dictators in African history. Between 1971, when Amin seized control of Uganda in a coup d’etat, and 1979 when he was deposed, the dictator is estimated to have been responsible for the death of 300,000 people.
According to popular history, he had awarded himself the title: “His Excellency President for Life Field Marshal Al Hadji Dr Idi Amin, VC, DSO, MC, King of Scotland, Lord of All the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Sea and Conqueror of the British Empire in Africa in General and Uganda in Particular.”
The former ruler died in exile in Saudi Arabia in 2003. He had numerous children with various wives and lovers. Wangita arrived in England some time ago and was living here with his mother, staying at a number of addresses in London, the court heard.
He had previous criminal convictions for possessing an offensive weapon and fraud in November 2000. In May 2002, he was given community service for threatening behaviour and he was convicted for theft and carrying an offensive weapon in 2006.