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Leaking Court Ceiling Interrupts Kwoyelo's Trial :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Leaking Court Ceiling Interrupts Kwoyelo's Trial

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A team from the Police Fire and Rescue services from Gulu Central Police station rushed to the court room and tried to drain water from the tank in an attempt to stop the leakage in vain. A female inmate from the holding cells tried to mop the floor but this couldn’t help the situation either.
02 Jul 2019 19:50
A section of the lawyers leaving court room after the adjournment of Kwoyelo trail in Gulu - Photo by Jesse James Johnson

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The trial of Thomas Kwoyelo, a former commander of the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) before the International Crimes Division (ICD) sitting in Gulu High court suffered a setback on Tuesday because of a leaking ceiling.   

The leakage from a reservoir tank atop the court building disrupted both the morning and afternoon close door court sessions. It wet the courtroom and disorganized the seats of Kwoyelo’s defense team.

A team from the Police Fire and Rescue services from Gulu Central Police station rushed to the court room and tried to drain water from the tank in an attempt to stop the leakage in vain. A female inmate from the holding cells tried to mop the floor but this couldn’t help the situation either.

Running out of patience, Esther Rebecca Nasambu, the Assistant Registrar of the International Crimes Division of the High Court of Uganda adjourned the court to Wednesday morning. The defense and prosecution team left the courtroom in total disappointment as Kwoyelo was accompanied back to Gulu Central Prison. 

A police officer attached to the court told URN on condition of anonymity that the leaking roof has always interrupted court session whenever the tank fills up. Kwoyelo, faces up to 93 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity related to the LRA-led conflict in Northern Uganda allegedly committed between January 1995 and December 2005. 

He has been in detention since his capture in 2008. Justices Jane Persis Kiggundu, Duncan Gaswaga, and Micheal Elubu are presiding over the main phase of the trial.  Thomas Kwoyelo was born in Pabbo Sub County in present day Amuru district. He was abducted by the LRA on his way to school in 1987. He remained in rebel captivity and later became a colonel.