High Court Orders Luzira Prison To Present Former LRA Commander Kwoyelo Before Deputy Registrar

The International Crimes Division of the High Court has issued a production warrant, directing Luzira Prisons officials to present the remanded former Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) commander, Thomas Kwoyelo, before the court’s deputy registrar. The directive specifies the appearance at the International Crimes Division of the High Court in Kampala on January 12, 2024, at 9 am before Registrar Juliet Hatanga.

Kwoyelo faces charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity, allegedly committed in the Pagak internally displaced people’s camp (IDP) in Amuru District between 1993 and 2005. Sources familiar with the production warrant indicated that Kwoyelo’s defense team, led by Caleb Alaka, sought to engage with him in a more conducive environment, away from the prison setting. The lawyers intend to discuss his defense strategy as the main trial approaches.

In the coming week, court officials, members of the defense team, and representatives from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) office are expected to travel to Gulu, the location where Kwoyelo allegedly committed the crimes. The visit will include an explanation of the meaning of the “no case to answer” ruling and discussions with some of the defense witnesses.

In a ruling late last year, the court affirmed that Kwoyelo has a case to answer, confirming 78 out of the 93 charges he faced. The charges relate to war crimes and crimes against humanity during the period of 1993 to 2005 in the Pagak IDP camp.

Thomas Kwoyelo, a former LRA commander under Joseph Kony, was captured by the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) in Garamba National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2005. Subsequently, he was brought back to Uganda and detained at Luzira Upper Prison. The impending trial is expected to proceed soon.

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