Speaking through an Acholi – English interpreter, Kwoyelo said he is sick and tired of waiting for justice in the International Crimes Division of the High Court designated to try him.
Former rebel Lord’s Resistance Army-LRA
Commander, Thomas Kwoyelo has asked the International Crimes Division of the
High Court to transfer him to the International Criminal Court in The Hague,
Netherlands for trial.
Kwoyelo cites numerous delays in his trial for
the request, saying he feels he has been denied justice in the domestic court.
He was speaking in Gulu High Court where the ICD was due to his bail
application on Monday after spending several years in Luzira Maximum Prison for
93 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during the LRA
insurgency in Northern Uganda.
Speaking through an Acholi – English
interpreter, Kwoyelo said he is sick and tired of waiting for justice in the
International Crimes Division of the High Court designated to try him.
in his trademark light green shirt and black suit, Kwoyelo appeared angry while
speaking to the judges.
Justice Persis Jane
Kiggundu, the chairperson of the three trial panel comforted Kwoyelo, saying
his trial has commenced and that the International Crimes Division of the High
Court is ready to try him.
judges are Duncan Gaswaga and Michael Elubu.
Court then went on to hear submissions from lawyers
on issues affecting the trial including facilitation of the various organs of
The charges against Kwoyelo stem from atrocities committed
while he was commanding LRA operations in Kilak Hill leading to attacks on
Abera and Pagak villages and Pabbo Internally Displaced Persons' camp in Amuru
district between 1993 and 2005.
He pleaded not guilty to all the charges. Justice
Jane Kiggundu said the main trial will commence with swearing in of assessors,
opening statements and contextual issues related to the Lord’s Resistance Army
(LRA) rebellion on Tuesday.
The court spent Monday morning meeting lawyers
from Prosecution, defense and victims in Chamber.
In open court the judges
allowed Kwoyelo to briefly speak about his trial.
Kwoyelo asked to be
sent to the International Criminal Court as he is sick of waiting for justice
for many years.
He wondered why his case is taking too long to
take off after the 2010 Kampala bombing suspects were speedily tried alongside
Henry Komakeck Kilama, the counsel representing
victims in the case, said they have never been adequately facilitated to
participate in Kwoyelo’s trial.
He said his colleague, Jane Amooti failed to
travel to court due to lack of facilitation.
Caleb Alaka, Kwoyelo’s lead lawyer said they
have equally not been facilitated by the registry of the International Crimes
Division of the High Court.
He however said they are ready to proceed with
Charles Richard Kamuuli, a prosecution lawyer said they have
fully been facilitated to commence the trial.
He admitted that there are issues around
funding Kwoyelo’s trial, which court must resolve.