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Kwoyelo Asks ICD to Transfer Him to ICC

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.
11 Mar 2019 17:30
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. 

Dressed 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.  

The other 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 court.  

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 other matters.   

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 the matter. 

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.