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Ex-rebel Kwoyelo Petitions Court Over Delayed Release

Thomas Kwoyelo alias Latoni, the ex- LRA rebel commander has petitioned court over what he calls illegal detention, nearly three weeks after the Constitutional Court ordered his release.
Thomas Kwoyelo alias Latoni, the ex- LRA rebel commander has petitioned court over what he calls illegal detention, nearly three weeks after the Constitutional Court ordered his release. 

On 22 September, the Constitutional Court ruled that he was entitled to amnesty just like others who renounced rebel activity. Kwoyelo had applied for amnesty in 2010 but was instead dragged to court and charged with 53 counts of murder, willful killing, kidnap with intent to kill, aggravated robbery and destruction of property. Some of the charges were allegedly committed during an attack he reportedly commanded in Abera village in Parubanga, Pabbo Sub County in Amuru district in 1999. 

But the five justices led by Amos Twinomujuni ordered that the file be taken to International Crimes Court in Gulu to immediately stop the trial that had started in August. 

Kwoyelo is now petitioning the High Court in Kampala to compel the International Crimes division to convene and cease the trial of the applicant forthwith. He is also seeking for general damages for the inconvenience suffered as a result of the State’s failure to comply with the directions of the constitutional court that halted his trial in a lower court. 

Kwoyelo complains that since he extracted the order of the Constitutional Court and wrote a letter to ICD in Gulu to abide by the orders, there has not been any response. He contends that by failing to comply, the applicant is being deprived of his liberty by being illegally held in prison. He says he has suffered psychological torture for which he is seeking compensation. 

The petition is jointly filed by Alaka and company advocates and Mukiibi, Kawooya, Onyango and Company advocates. 

The Attorney General, Peter Nyombi has since pushed the matter to the Supreme Court. He is dissatisfied the court ruling that the failure by Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and Amnesty commission to issue a certificate was inconsistent with Articles 20 and 21 of the Constitution. 

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