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Ex-LRA's commander Kwoyelo trial flops in Gulu

By Vision Reporter

Added 4th May 2016 01:31 PM

Kwoyelo had applied for amnesty in 2010 but was instead dragged to court and charged with 53 counts of murder, willful killing, kidnap with intent to kill, aggravated robbery and destruction of property in Pabbo sub county Amuru district

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Thomas Kwoyelo (2nd L), former LRA rebel, flanked by prison wardens upon arrival at the Supreme Court on Wednesday 8 April 2015. Photo/Roderick Ahimbazwe - See more at: http://www.newvision.co.ug/new_vision/news/1323851/kwoyelo-amnesty-plea-flops#sthash.zGw9jz01.dpuf

Kwoyelo had applied for amnesty in 2010 but was instead dragged to court and charged with 53 counts of murder, willful killing, kidnap with intent to kill, aggravated robbery and destruction of property in Pabbo sub county Amuru district

Wilson Lamony Jwee

The appeal trial hearing of the former LRA’s Commander Col. Thomas Kwoyelo Alias Latoni for his release from Luzira maximum prison flopped today at Gulu High Court -International Crimes Court.

The Amuru/Nwoya senior Resident State Attorney Ponsiano Okello the said the hearing was postponed to July 18, 2016 because the Judiciary has no ready funds to facilitate hearing of the Appeal that needs over sh140m.

Okello noted that the postponement of the Kwoyelo’s Appeal trial hearing is to allow the Judiciary first dispose of all the election petitions across the country.

Constitutional Court on September 22, 2011 ruled that Col. Kwoyelo was entitled to amnesty just like others LRA rebels and abductees who renounced rebel activity.

Kwoyelo had applied for amnesty in 2010 but was instead dragged to court and charged with 53 counts of murder, willful killing, kidnap with intent to kill, aggravated robbery and destruction of property in Pabbo sub county Amuru district.

Kwoyelo later challenged the continued delay of his release as ordered by court after the Directorate of Public Prosecution led by Patricia Mutesi asked court not to release him on claims that the Attorney General was to appeal the Constitutional Court ruling that order for Kwoyelo’s release.

Mutesi argued that the state had received credible information that Kwoyelo had remained in contact with foreign financiers of the LRA and there was a risk that upon his release, Kwoyelo would resume rebel activities outside Uganda.

She cited that the appeal is of great public importance to the victims of the LRA war in Northern and Eastern Uganda.

However Kwoyelo’s defense lawyers Caleb Alaka and Francis Onyango termed the application by the state as baseless, an abuse of court process and contravenes the Constitution.

They argued that the Constitutional Court gave full effect to the ex-LRA’s rebel right to liberty when it declared that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and Amnesty Commission did not accord Kwoyelo equal treatment under the law.

Kwoyelo says he renounced and abandoned rebellion in whatever form against government and emphasized that he would not leave the jurisdiction of court.

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