By David Okema
Gulu – International Crimes Division (ICD) of the High Court of Uganda has set November 6th 2018 as date it will hear bail application of the former LRA commander, Thomas Kwoyelo.
The notice was in a letter dated Thursday November 1, 2018 and signed by Deputy Registrar of ICD, Harriet Ssali Nalukwago and was addressed to Kwoyelo’s Lawyers; Ms Alaka & Co. Advocates, Ms Opwonya & Co. Advocates and Ms Jane Amooti, the victims lawyer and the Superintendent of Luzira Upper Prison, whilst the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) as a notification on changes in the date of trail hearing that was earlier on communicated.
“The above mentioned criminal case was fixed for November 5, 2018, at 9:00 am for further hearing at High Court Gulu. However, the trial panel will first handle the bail application of Thomas Kwoyelo No.20 of 2018 at International Crimes Division, Kololo High Court on November 6, 2018, before moving on to Gulu,” the Deputy registrar of ICD letter reads in part.
The letter also informs the addressees that Kwoyelo’s case hearing will start on November 12, 2018 at Gulu High Court.
Kwoyelo who has been on remand for 10 years at Luzira prison is accused of 93 counts including; hostage-taking, murder, kidnap with intent to murder, pillaging, aggravated robbery, torture, cruel treatment, violation of personal dignity, and rape and so on.
He was captured from Central African Republic [CAR] forest in 2009.
It is alleged that between 1992 and 2005 when Kwoyelo was a commander in the LRA, he held many ranks such as operations commander; commander in control of LRA sick bays and director of military intelligence who committed all the crimes.
Some of the allegation includes abductions of civilians, destruction of property and massacre in Kilak in Amuru district.
Meanwhile, Prosecution is set to produce evidence including police reports and documents, postmortem reports of victims, pictures, letters, written statements of witnesses and extracts from newspapers to prove the charges against Kwoyelo at the commencement.
International Human Right agent recently pressured Uganda government over Kwoyelo’s case.
On October 12, 2018, a report released by Maurice Rwakatsitsi, The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights in its 62nd ordinary session in Banjul, Gambia ruled that Uganda has to pay former LRA commander Kwoyelo for illegal detention and violation of rights to fair trial as captured in the document (Thomas Kwoyelo – Communication 421-12 Final Dec).
The Commission faulted the Supreme Court of Uganda for failure to provide reasons for its decision when it stayed the execution of the orders of the Constitutional Court which had ruled that Kwoyelo be released from detention and granted amnesty.
The Commission further ruled that the action of the Supreme Court denied Kwoyelo a right to be tried within a reasonable time.
“In view of the above, the Commission hereby orders the government of Uganda to pay adequate compensation to the victim (Kwoyelo) for the violation of Articles 3 and 7 (1) (a) and (d) of the African Charter,” ruled the Commission early October 2018.
The African Commission in the ruling also ordered that government report back on progress of Kwoyelo’s compensation within a period not less than 180 days (six months) and also tasked Uganda Human Rights Commission to monitor government’s compliance with its decision.
The complaint before the Commission was brought by Onyango & Company Advocates on behalf of Thomas Kwoyelo on October 19, 2012.