Court Sets March 20, to Rule on Kwoyelo's Bail Application

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One of his lawyers Charles Dalton Opwonya told the court that Kwoyelo would like to use the bail to support his ageing mother, wife and six children financially and emotionally. He said MP Gilbert Olanya had offered to host the accused at his residence throughout the duration of the trial.

The International Crimes Division of the High court will on March 20, deliver its ruling on a bail application by Thomas Kwoyelo, a former commander of the Lord's Resistance Army-LRA.  The Court is trying Kwoyelo for 93 Counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity.





On Monday, Kwoyelo formally asked the Court to grant him bail to allow him to enjoy temporary freedom at home after 10 years on incarceration. In his affidavit, Kwoyelo said that he has never had any freedom since he was kidnapped by the Lord's Resistance Army while in Primary three in 1988.      






He presented four sureties including Kilak South Member of Parliament Gilbert Olanya alongside his younger sister Margaret Auma, nephew Bosco Omony and Alfred Olanya Lubel - a retired teacher who also served as a Parish chief.         






One of his lawyers Charles Dalton Opwonya told the court that Kwoyelo would like to use the bail to support his ageing mother, wife and six children financially and emotionally. He said MP Gilbert Olanya had offered to host the accused at his residence throughout the duration of the trial.       




The other lawyer Caleb Alaka said that the accused is committed to abiding by the conditions of the bail. He said the accused should be restricted to Gulu district in case court feels he might interfere with witnesses which have been disclosed to him. 






Komakech Henry Kilama, the Counsel for Victims asked the court to decide whether to grant the accused bail or not.   But Prosecution objected to the bail application saying three of the sureties are junior to the accused to compel him to attend court in the event that he decides to skip. They said they are also worried about the safety of the accused and witnesses that have been disclosed to him.         






Charles Richard Kamuuli, an Assistant Director of Prosecutions asked the court to deny the accused bail for lack of a fixed place of abode. He said Kwoyelo has no social attachment to his community having been in captivity of the Lord's Resistance Army for almost all his life.      





Justice Persis Kiggundu, the Chairperson of the trial panel set March 20, to rule on the bail application. 

 

About the author

Peter Labeja
Peter Labeja has been a practicing journalist for the last 13 years during which he has covered part of the brutal conflict which bedeviled Northern Uganda as well as the painful transition to Peace thereafter. Emerging post conflict issues such as land rights of under privileged widows and orphans, challenges of access to social services in the immediate aftermath of Lord’s Resistance Army conflict in Northern Uganda.

Labeja is now the Northern Uganda Bureau chief in Acholi Sub Region since 2014 - Gulu, Amuru, Nwoya and Omoro districts as well as South Sudan falls within his areas of jurisdiction. He previously worked with The Vision Group for four years.

Labeja’s major career interests are in Climate Change; Agriculture and Environment - natural resources such as Water, Oil and Gas; Transitional Justice; Human Rights, Democracy and Governance as well as South Sudan’s humanitarian crisis. In 2013, Labeja was awarded a prestigious Pan African Journalism Award for excellence in journalism at United Nation’s UNEP headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya for Climate Change and Health Reporting.