Thomas Kwoyelo had been initially granted amnesty.
The Supreme Court of Uganda has re-instated criminal proceedings against Thomas Kwoyelo, a former mid-level commander of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).
The case had been stopped in 2011 following a unanimous Uganda Constitutional Court ruling that the accused was entitled to be granted amnesty under the Uganda Amnesty Act 2000.
However, following a majority Supreme Court ruling in April 2015 on appeal by the Attorney General, the case has been re-instated. The trial will be at the International Crimes Division (ICD) of the High Court of Uganda.
The ICD was established in July 2008 and has the mandate to try war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, terrorism, human trafficking, piracy, and other international crimes. Kwoyelo is the first person to be tried by Uganda’s new International Crimes Division (ICD).
The trial, to be presided by Pre-trial judge, Justice Lydia Mugambe Ssali, will start next month. This court (High Court of Uganda) is set up as a complement of the International Criminal Court at The Hague. The establishment of a special mechanism to try alleged perpetrators of serious crimes in Uganda originated in the Juba Peace Negotiations between the government of Uganda and the LRA. The 2007 pact signed between the LRA and Uganda committed themselves to prevent impunity and promote redress in accordance with the Constitution of Uganda and its international obligations.
The agreement provides for the establishment of a special division of the High Court “to try individuals who are alleged to have committed serious crimes during the conflict.
The suspect was captured in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in March 2009.
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