Ongwen was sentenced to 25 years in jail on 6th, May, 2021 by the ICC’s Trial Chamber IX after being convicted on 61 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity. The crimes were committed in Northern Uganda between July 1, 2022, and December 31, 2005.
Former Commander of the Sinia Brigade of the
Lord's Resistance Army – LRA, Dominic Ongwen is
yet to make a formal submission to the Presidency of the International Criminal
Court – ICC of a preferred country where he will be serving his 25-years’ jail
This was disclosed byDahirou
Sant-Anna, the International Cooperation Adviser in the Office of the
Prosecutor of the ICC while addressing journalists at Hotel Africana on Friday.
Dahirou explained that the Presidency is one
of the four organs of ICC that makes the decision on the location where the
convicted person would go. Before making the decision the Presidency would
consider a request submitted by the convict of his or her country of choice.
Further, Dahirou told journalists that
representatives of the victims and the prosecution team would also be able to
provide their submissions on how to enforce the sentence which is done through
willing state parties that have signed agreement with the ICC.
//Cue in; “What happens at…
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There are 123 possible country destinations including Uganda which are state parties to the Rome Statute that established the ICC on 1 July 2002
following a diplomatic conference held in Rome, Italy on 17 July 1998. They include; Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chad, Denmark, Germany, Ghana, DRC, Ireland, Liberia, Nigeria, Korea, Senegal, South Africa, Zambia, Venezuela and Tanzania among others.
Ongwen was sentenced to 25 years in jail on 6th,
May, 2021 by the ICC’s Trial Chamber IX after being convicted on 61 counts of
war crimes and crimes against humanity. The crimes were committed in Northern
Uganda between July 1, 2022, and December 31, 2005.
Among the war crimes and crimes against
humanity comprised murder and attempted murder; rape; sexual slavery; forced
marriage; torture; enslavement; conscription and use of children under the age
of 15 to participate actively in hostilities; pillaging; destruction of
property and persecution, among others.
Following the sentence, Ongwen’s defence lawyers led by Krispus Ayena Odongo raised a total
of 90 grounds of appeal against the conviction and 11 grounds against the
sentencing. But the Appeals Chamber on 15th, December 2022, confirmed the
decisions of Trial Chamber IX on Ongwen's guilt and sentence.
Notably, on 24th, November, 2022, ICC Prosecutor Karim
Asad Ahmad Khan filed a request before the Pre-Trial Chamber II of the
Court seeking authorization to hold a hearing on the confirmation of
charges against Joseph Kony, the leader of the LRA in his absence.
According to Dahirou, judges of
the Pre-Trial Chamber II of the Court are yet to pronounce themselves
on the matter. Once the judges authorize the process, the Court will appoint a
legal counsel that will represent Kony during the hearing of confirmation of
Hearing of confirmation of charges is
anticipated to be a breaking ground for a renewed hunt for fugitive Kony,
mobilize more resources and rally more concerted effort by state parties to
apprehend Kony, who the US Government has levied 18 billion Shillings bounty on his
head to face justice.
//Cue in; “A warrant of arrest…
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Kony, the LRA Chief is expected to face more
charges. The ICC issued an arrest warrant against him in 2005 alongside four
others who included; Ongwen, Okot Odhiambo, Raska Lukwiya, and Vincent Otti.
Charges against Odhiambo and Lukwiya have
since been dropped after they were put out of action and their DNA confirmed.
However, Otti’s arrest warrant still stands as his purported death is yet to be
confirmed by the Court.
Ochola's journalism career begun from Radio King 90.2 FM in Gulu around 2009, and Radio Rupiny 95.7 Fm under Vision Group in 2012. He also reported for Mighty Fire 91.5 Fm, Kitgum in 2015 before joining Wizarts Foundation in 2017.
He has been reporting for Uganda Radio Network (URN) since 2017 before being posted as Bureau Chief Kitgum, and latr Gulu between 2018 - 2021. Currently, he reports from Parliament.