Kwoyelo’s continued detention draws ire from his lawyers

The legal team representing Thomas Kwoyelo, the former LRA rebel commander says they are seeking a judicial review at the high court to compel the Director of Public Prosecution and the prison to set the suspect free.

The International Crimes Division of the High Court last Friday made a ruling, which directed the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Amnesty Commission to comply with an earlier ruling by the constitutional court to provide the suspect with an amnesty certificate and set him free.

Despite the ruling, the suspect is still on remand, to the chagrin of his lawyers who have criticized and described his continued detention as an abuse of the constitutional.

Caleb Alaka, Kwoyelo’s lead lawyer told URN that they are filing an application for judicial review before the High Court to challenge Kwoyelo’s continued detention in prison.

Alaka also said there have been attempts to refer to an earlier murder charge against the suspect in order to qualify his detention but explained that the charge initially preferred against Kwoyelo at the beginning of his trial had since been amended to war crimes charges.

In 2009, when he first appeared before the Gulu magistrate court, Kwoyelo was charged with 11 counts of kidnap with intent to murder however the charges were amended to 53 counts of war crimes and crime against humanity.

It was not possible to get an explanation from the Director of Public Prosecution over Kwoyelo’s continued remand, however, the amnesty commission says they were waiting for the official judgment sheet before they could proceed to process an amnesty for the suspect.

Moses Drako, the spokesperson for the commission said they have so far only learnt about the court ruling through the media. He also added that they need to get clearance from the DPP to verify whether the suspect has no other charges that could bar him from receiving the amnesty certificate.

The confusion surrounding Kwoyelo’s freedom status begun last Friday when after a court ruling ceasing his prosecution, he was instead handcuffed and whisked away in a prisons car to Luzira prison where he has remained on remand despite the ruling.

-Uganda Radio Network