Global Politics

UGANDA: JOSEPH KONY IS STILL WANTED AS ONGWEN’S TRIAL COMES TO A CLOSE

Maria Kamara Program Officer outreach for East Africa

Gen Domic Ongwen former LRA top commander apperared before ICC trial, and yet his counterpart UPDG Generals like Uganda  leader Museveni remain in at large

By Godfery Anywar

The hearing of the trial of former Lord’s Resistance Army commander,Dominic Ongwen who faces 70 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, will end this Thursday with the closing  statement of his defence team headed by Ugandan lawyer Krispus Ayena Odongo.

Other closing statements of  the case against the LRA combatant which commenced on the 6th of December in 2016 in the Hague in the Netherlands, will start with the presentation of volumes of incriminating evidence generated by the prosecutor,Fatou Bensouda ,her deputy James Stewart and senior trial lawyer Benjamin Gumpert on Tuesday,tomorrow.

The ICC Outreach officer Maria Kamara told journalists at a press briefing at Northern Uganda Media Club in Gulu today that both prosecution and defence team will be allotted four and a half hours to make their final statements loaded with weights of evidence to incriminate or exonerate Ongwen now in ICC custody for the duration of his trial, that has lasted slightly over three years.

Kamara who said LRA victims have a lot of faith in the way the trial process in the ICC is conducted said the legal representatives of victims headed by Principal Counsel of victims Paolina Massidda will also present their case on Wednesday for three hours allocated to them before presiding judge Bertram Schmitt and his two colleagues Peter Kovacs and Raul Cano Pangalangan in courtroom number three.

“At the end of the closing statements by the prosecution, the legal representative of victims and the defence team of the accused, the trial judges will announce when they will make their final judgement before they retire to assess the evidence presented to court during hearing of the case,”Kamara said

The presentation of evidence by witnesses was concluded on the 12th of December last year with the  testimony of defence witnesses which included the Chief of Pageya Clan of Acholi Rwot Yusuf Okwonga Adek.

While Ongwen  awaits his fate at the ICC for heading the dreaded  LRA’S Sinia brigade accused raging violent attacks in Lukodi in Gulu district,Abok in Oyam distict,Odek in present day Omoro district and Pajule in Pader,according to Kamara his co-accused Joseph Kony the leader of LRA who is still at  large, has an active arrest warrant along with Vincent Otti whose killing he is said to have ordered for disloyalty.

Karama said although Otti is widely believed to have died on Kony’s orders, court is upholding his arrest warrant of arrest because there is no forensic evidence of his death, because his body has not been recovered for a confirmatory tests to be conducted on it.

The ICC has confirmed the death of Ongwen’s co-accused Okot Odhiambo and Raska Lukwiya, leading to the cancellation of their arrest warrants.

The closing statements of the Ongwen trial hearing will be televised live at Gulu district council hall for three days beginning tomorrow for the benefit Gulu residents some of whom are victims of the war that claimed an unverified number of lives over a two decade period.

The hearing of the trial of former Lord’s Resistance Army commander,Dominic Ongwen who faces 70 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, will end this Thursday with the closing  statement of his defence team headed Ugandan lawyer Krispus Ayena Odongo.

Other closing statements of  the case against the LRA combatant which commenced on the 6th of December in 2016 in the Hague in the Netherlands, will start with the presentation of volumes of incriminating evidence generated by the prosecutor,Fatou Bensouda ,her deputy James Stewart and senior trial lawyer Benjamin Gumpert on Tuesday,tomorrow.

The ICC Outreach officer Maria Kamara told journalists at a press briefing at Northern Uganda Media Club in Gulu today that both prosecution and defence team will be allotted four and a half hours to make their final statements loaded with weights of evidence to incriminate or exonerate Ongwen now in ICC custody for the duration of his trial, that has lasted slightly over three years.

Kamara who said LRA victims have a lot of faith in the way the trial process in the ICC is conducted said the legal representatives of victims headed by Principal Counsel of victims Paolina Massidda will also present their case on Wednesday for three hours allocated to them before presiding judge Bertram Schmitt and his two colleagues Peter Kovacs and Raul Cano Pangalangan in courtroom number three.

“At the end of the closing statements by the prosecution, the legal representative of victims and the defence team of the accused, the trial judges will announce when they will make their final judgement before they retire to assess the evidence presented to court during hearing of the case,”Kamara said

The presentation of evidence by witnesses was concluded on the 12th of December last year with the  testimony of defence witnesses which included the Chief of Pageya Clan of Acholi Rwot Yusuf Okwonga Adek.

While Ongwen  awaits his fate at the ICC for heading the dreaded  LRA’S Sinia brigage accused raging violent attacks in Lukodi in Gulu district,Abok in Oyam distict,Odek in present day Omoro district and Pajule in Pader,according to Kamara his co-accused Joseph Kony the leader of LRA who is still at  large, has an active arrest warrant along with Vincent Otti whose killing he is said to have ordered for disloyalty.

Karama said although Otti is widely believed to have died on Kony’s orders, court is upholding his arrest warrant of arrest because there is no forensic evidence of his death, because his body has not been recovered for a confirmatory tests to be conducted on it.

The ICC has confirmed the death of Ongwen’s co-accused Okot Odhiambo and Raska Lukwiya, leading to the cancellation of their arrest warrants.

The closing statements of the Ongwen trial hearing will be televised live at Gulu district council hall for three days beginning tomorrow for the benefit Gulu residents some of whom are victims of the war that claimed an unverified number of lives over a two decade period.

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