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ICD court extends Kwo-yelo bail hearing to January 2019

By Dennis Ojwee

Added 16th November 2018 01:57 PM

Kwo-yelo was captured from the jungle by the Uganda People’s Defence Forces in the Democratic Republic of Congo while in pursuit of the LRA rebels and is currently charged with 93 criminal counts; which he pleaded not guilty to on Tuesday.

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Kwo-yelo was captured from the jungle by the Uganda People’s Defence Forces in the Democratic Republic of Congo while in pursuit of the LRA rebels and is currently charged with 93 criminal counts; which he pleaded not guilty to on Tuesday.

PIC: The Kilak South MP, Gilbert Olanya, (left) on Thursday, counsels and calms down angered looking former LRA field commander, Col. Kwo-yelo who bitterly exchanged words with his lawyers from the dock soon after court extended the hearing of his bail application to Januray 2019. (Photo by Dennis Ojwee)

The hearing of the former Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebel field commander; Col. Thomas Kwo-yelo Latoni has been extended to January 18, 2019 in Kampala by the International Crimes Division (ICD) court sitting in Gulu due to contentions between defence and prosecution.

The prison warders ushered into the dock the accused-person, Kwo-yelo at 10:51am. The court kicked off at exactly 11:19am  after the ICD registry read out and presented the file before the trial judge.

The order was pronounced  on Thursday by the ICD court Judge, Lady justice Peris Jane Kiggundu who solely chaired the bail application hearing in the absence of her two Lords, Justice Duncan Gaswaga and justice Michael Elubu; who had reportedly returned to Kampala after the Tuesday plea-taking sitting.

The adjournment followed a contention between the lawyers in Kwo-yelo’s defence and that of the government prosecution teams that arose from the issue of delayed presentations of the documents of the sureties by the defence and time demanded by the counsels for the victims.

  he ilak outh  ilbert lanya middle and defence lawyers on hursday counsels and calms down angered looking former  field commander ol woyelo right deplored by the court extended hearing of his bail application till anuray 2019hoto by ennis jwee The Kilak South MP, Gilbert Olanya, (center) and defence lawyers on Thursday, counsel and calm down angered looking former LRA field commander, Col. Kwo-yelo (right) deplored by the court extended hearing of his bail application to Januray 2019. (Photo by Dennis Ojwee)

 

The lead counsel for Kwo-yelo defence team, Dalton Opwonya who submitted that  defence was ready to proceed with the bail application hearing in the middle in a contradiction stated that time needed to be granted by the court for counsels for the victims to prepare their admitted victims to attend and participate in the trial.

Opwonya told court that they (defence) was ready to proceed with the bail application hearing, and that they had sureties ready to present in the hearing. He said they had four sureties including the Kilak South MP, Hon. Gilbert Olanya and three persons in court to present if the adjournment was not ordered by the trial panel.

Prosecution led by Counsel William Byansi submitted blaming the delay and the continued adjournment on the defence, saying the team did not appear ready to proceed with the hearing of the bail application.

Byansi lamented that the delay being caused by the defence was costing government lots of money by delaying the trial processes of the case that had dragged on for nearly nine years. Byansi prayed that the trial dismiss the bail application if the defence is not ready and serious in its submissions and mindful of the time the accused-person had spent on remand.

Kwo-yelo was captured from the jungle  by the Uganda People’s Defence Forces in the Democratic Republic of Congo while in pursuit of the LRA rebels and is currently charged with 93 criminal counts; which he pleaded not guilty to  on Tuesday.

The Lead counsel for the LRA war victims, Henry Komakech Kilama submitted with a prayer to court to accord them (Victim’s counsel team) time to access. He requested that court needed to give them time to inform the victims concerned on the court order and to enlighten them to attend the trial processes beginning with the hearing of the bail application as granted by court.

Justice Kiggundu stated that the reason for the adjournment were that the defence had presented the intended sureties’ documents late to prosecution hence, prosecution prayed to be given time to scrutinise the papers or documents.

She stated the second reason as the counsels for the victims needing to be granted some time to consult with the listed victims who should have attended the trial proceedings of the case.

The judge however warned that it should be the last time for the defence to cause further adjournment that can delay the bail application or the trial of the case in future because it would take lots of government resources.

In Uganda bail is a constitutional right provided for under Article 23 (6) (a) of the Constitution which provides that a person arrested in respect of a criminal offence is entitled to apply to the court to be released on bail and the court may grant the same on such conditions as the court considers reasonable.

Specifically, under Article 23 (6) (b), it is provided that a person shall be released on bail on such conditions as court considers reasonable. This position continues to reassert judicial independence.

Also related to this story

Kwo-yelo’s bail application set for today

 Court rules Kwoyelo trial must proceed

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