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Court confirms the 93 charges against former LRA rebel Kwoyelo

LRA rebel Thomas Kwoyelo in the  International Crimes Division of the High Court recently (FILE PHOTO)

KAMPALA – The International Crimes Division of the High Court has today confirmed the 93 charges against former senior commandant LRA rebel Thomas Kwoyelo slapped on him by the Director of Public Prosecution.

Pre-trial judge Susan Okalany has consequently committed Kwoyelo who has been in jail for close to 10 years to the panel of three judges to stand trial.

“After a thorough examination of the charges and disclosed evidence and exhibits prosecution intends to bring against Kwoyelo, I am satisfied that its sufficient enough to sustain all the charges at trial,” Justice Okalany ruled.

Confirmation of charges is a pre-trial stage where a single judge scrutinizes and examines the disclosed prosecution evidence and exhibits to determine whether it is sufficient and relating to the charges before the case file is sent to the trial panel of 3 justices.

The 93 counts Prosecution brought against Kwoyelo include; Crimes against Humanity such as murder, rape, enslavement, torture, imprisonment and other inhumane acts such as hostage-taking and waging attacks on IDP camps thereby burning them down and killing several people.

Kwoyelo’s trial will be conducted in Gulu but the date of trial will be communicated on notice.

According to the examined evidence, Kwoyelo who is a born of the present day Amuru district in Northern Uganda got enlisted in the LRA group and underwent through Military training to rise through the ranks before establishing his base at Kilak hills from where he would command attacks on civilians notably in the years of 1987, 1993, 1996 and 2003.

In these incidents prosecution says Kwoyelo would use axes, clubs and guns to attack and take hostage residents from his place of birth who would be collecting firewood, attending rituals and would be discovered dead the following day with their hands tied behind their backs.

Evidence also shows that Kwoyelo would rape women and girls, make them carry loot for the LRA and kill the sick and elderly who were considered to be of no purpose to the LRA.

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