Justice Mukiibi said he will leave the court without a functional mechanism for witness protection in the hands of his deputy Lady Justice Margaret Oguli Oumo who has also been listed by the Judiciary to retire this year.
The head of the International Crimes Division of the High Court
Justice Moses Mukiibi is asking government to bring more ex-combatants of the
Lord's Resistance Army to trial at the war crimes court.
Justice Mukiibi says those who benefited from Amnesty are not obscured from
prosecution at the International Crimes Division of the High Court following the
2012 Constitutional Court interpretation.
Justice Mukiibi says by favouring national peace over prosecution,
government is denying many victims of the Lord's Resistance Army conflict in
Northern Uganda justice. He says the blanket Amnesty Act only
covered offences against the state such as waging war and rebellion but not
crimes against civilian population.
//Cue in: “In the Constitutional Appeal….
Cue out: “…. ex-combatants to books”//
He based his argument on the Constitutional Appeal Number 01 of 2012 in the
case Thomas Kwoyelo Verses Uganda in which the judges interpreted that
International Crimes could not have been the subject of the Amnesty
Act Cap 294.
Justice Mukiibi made the appeal while launching a User Guide to
the International Crimes’ Division of the High Court from the seat of
the Court in Kololo on Wednesday. He used the occasion to
announce his retirement from the Court in August this year.
Justice Mukiibi said the user book was printed to increase public awareness of
the works of the International Crimes Division of the High Court. He said the
guide is one of the last projects he worked on ahead of his retirement.
The judge said the works of the International Criminal Court (ICC)
in Northern Uganda has dwarfed the works of the domestic poorly facilitated war
//Cue in: “We should not be….
Cue out: “….to achieve this”//
Justice Mukiibi said the blanket Amnesty Act has suffocated dispensation of
justice to victims of International Crimes committed during the Lord’s
Resistance Army conflict in Northern Uganda.
//Cue in: “The Amnesty Act has…
Cue out: “…. the denial of justice”//
He said he will leave the court without a functional mechanism for witness
protection in the hands of his deputy Lady Justice Margaret Oguli Oumo who has
also been listed by the Judiciary to retire this year.
Justice Mukiibi will be remembered for amongst others presiding over the trial
of the 2010 terrorism suspects arrested for the Kampala twin bombing at the
Ethiopian Restaurant in Makindye Division and Lugogo Rugby Grounds which
claimed 76 lives and left scores injured.
The International Crimes Division of the High Court was set up under the Juba
Peace Process between the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and the government as an
accountability mechanism for the crimes committed during the Lord’s Resistance
Army conflict which started in 1986.
It came into effect under legal notice number 10 0f 2011 which transformed the
High Court War Crimes Division practice direction of 2008 to try individuals
alleged to bear particular responsibility for the most serious crimes amounting
to International crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes,
terrorism, human trafficking, piracy amongst others.
Since the International Crimes Division of the High Court ICD was founded, the
Court has tried terrorism suspects alongside the first war crime suspect Thomas
Kwoyelo, a former commander of the Lord’s Resistance Army arrested in 2009 from
Garamba Forest in the Democratic Republic of Congo.