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Lawyers Ask Court to Delay Kwoyelo Trial

Hearing of the matter had been scheduled to resume on Monday, February 18, after two weeks of delay on the request by the Prosecution for more time to adequately prepare their opening statement. The Court was also expected to hear an application for bail submitted by Kwoyelos lawyers.
Thomas Kwoyelo After The Matter Was Adjourned By the International Crimes Division of The High Court

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Lawyers representing Former Lord's Resistance Army Commander Thomas Kwoyelo have asked the International Crimes' Division of the High Court to prolong the much-anticipated commencement of his trial.  Kwoyelo faces 93 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity reportedly committed between January 1995 and December 2005.

Hearing of the matter had been scheduled to resume on Monday, February 18, after two weeks of delay on the request by the Prosecution for more time to adequately prepare their opening statement. The Court was also expected to hear an application for bail submitted by Kwoyelo's lawyers.

But the defence lawyers Charles Dalton Opwonya, Caleb Alaka and Ochieng Evans requested for a long adjournment of the trial to allow them to attend to ongoing criminal sessions in the Court of Appeal. The Registrar of the International Crimes Division of the High Court Harriet Ssali Nalukwago says the lawyers requested up to March 11, this year.

//Cue in; "The defence lawyers…

Cue out...resume on 11t March."//

A panel of three trial judges namely Jane Persis Kiggundu, Michael Elubu and Duncan Gaswaga is presiding over the matter. Prosecution led by Principal State Attorney Williams Byansi with the assistance of Charles Richard Kamuuli has indicated its intention to call more than 120 witnesses to pin Kwoyelo of the charged crimes.

They allege that Thomas Kwoyelo alias Latoni presided over the commissioning of the crimes of murder, willful killing, kidnap and hostage-taking among others while operating as an Operations Commander of the rebel Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) in Kilak hills, in present-day Amuru district and Pabbo Sub County in 1996.

Kwoyelo is being represented by a set of two lawyers - one on state brief, while the other he personally appointed. Those on state brief are Charles Dalton Opwonya and Borris Anyuru, while Evans Ochieng, Caleb Alaka and Nicholas Opiyo are on his instruction.

Also participating in the trial is a group of victims of the alleged crimes being represented by two lawyers under the leadership of experienced human rights lawyer Henry Komakech Kilama. Kwoyelo has been waiting for trial at Luzira Maximum Prisons since 2015 when his Amnesty application was overturned by the Supreme Court.