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Government Fails to Stop Kwoyelo's Release

The Constitutional Court has dismissed an application by the state to stay the release of ex-Lord’s Resistance Army rebel commander, Thomas Kwoyelo.
The Constitutional Court has dismissed an application by the state to stay the release of ex-Lord’s Resistance Army rebel commander, Thomas Kwoyelo.

On Monday, the state led by Patricia Mutesi asked court to stay the release of the former rebel arguing that he was still in contact with LRA financiers. Mutesi also argued that the state had filed an appeal against an earlier ruling by the same court calling for Kwoyelo’s release. Mutesi told court that Kwoyelo was flight risk if released.

The three Justices—Stella Arach-Amoko, Constance Byamugisha and Steven Kavuma today passed a ruling dismissing the argument of the State. They said that the State did not make out a case to warrant the grant of the order to stay Kwoyelo’s release.

The judges however noted that due to the technical problems being experienced in Court computer systems, they were unable to furnish reasons for their decisions. They noted that the reasons shall be given at a later date.

On September 22nd, the Constitutional Court ruled that Kwoyelo, also known as Latoni 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 Kwoyelo’s file be taken to International Crimes Court in Gulu to immediately stop the trial that had started in August.

The ruling now means that Kwoyelo will return to Gulu on Friday from where he will officially be released. Kwoyelo was represented by Caleb Alaka and Francis Onyango.

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