Thomas Kwoyelo denies all 93 criminal charges, court adjourns to 2019


Thomas Kwoyelo in the dock at Gulu High Court recently. Courtesy photo.


By David Okema


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Gulu– On the second day of hearing of criminal charges against the former LRA commander Thomas Kwoyelo alias Latoni before the International Crimes Division (ICD), the accused is continuing to plead not guilty to all the 93 charges.

On Monday 12, November, 2018 before the ICD justices, on all the 31 counts read to him, Kwoyelo responded to the three presiding judges – Justice Duncan Gaswaga, Lady Justice Persis Jane Kigundu and Justice Michael Elubu by pleading not guilty.

Again, on Tuesday, before the same justices, the former rebel commander again maintained his plea not guilty to all the remaining 62 counts read to him.

“I have heard all the charges read out to me but I did not commit any of them; I don’t know anything to do with them,” he responded to Judges in Luo dialect as Agnes Akello interprets.

Kwoyelo who looked confident during the court session and occasionally putting on short smile, was however getting guidance from his lawyer, Boris Anyuru.

The 93 counts of alleged crimes were read to the accused by Registrar of the High Court, Harriett Ssali Nalukwago.

The alleged crimes includes hostage taking, murders, Kidnap with intension to murder, pillaging, aggravated robbery, cruel treatment, violation of personal dignity, rape, among others.

Thomas Kwoyelo has been in detention at Luzira maximum prison in Kampala for ten years.

Recently High Court Judge Suzan Okalany confirmed all 93 charges that Kwoyelo is alleged to have committed between 1992 and 2005 when he was an active commander in the LRA ranks.

Then, he was holding many positions including: commander of military intelligence, operations commander and in charge of LRA sick bays.

However the accused defense lawyer, Charles Dalton Opwonya confirmed to court that his client does not know anything about the accusations.

The court room was full with Kwoyelo’s relatives including sister and wife and member of the public.

ICD judge Lady Justice Persis Jane Kigundu announced court’s adjournment to 4th February 2019.

In a few moments after the adjournment, Kwoyelo’s lawyers met the ICD in a conference and asked for a date to hear the accused bail application.

Presiding Justices Gaswaga, Elubu and Persis Jane Kigundu all agreed that the hearing should take place on Thursday 15, November 2018.

Kwoyelo was represented by his lawyers Boris Anyuru and Charles Dalton Opwonya while prosecution was represented by Deputy DPP William Byansi, Florence Akello, and Principal State Attorney Charles KamulI.

Meanwhile the victims were represented by Counsel Komakech Henry Kilama and Magdalene Jane Amooti.

Last week, Kwoyelo bail hearing flopped as all the four sureties, MPs Akello Lucy, Gilbert Olanya, Anthony Akol and one Alebu Olanya did not show up in Court.


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