Jamil Mukulu, the former Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebel leader, has asked for a speedy trial.
Mukulu was arrested in 2015 in Tanzania and extradited to Uganda. He was charged with 39 other suspects with terrorism, murder, aggravated robbery, aiding and abetting terrorism and crimes against humanity.
The group is accused of masterminding the attack, burning and the resultant death of more than 80 students at Kichwamba Technical Institute in 1998.
Mukulu’s lawyer Laudislaus Rwakafuuzi protested the delay by the court to start hearing the case. He said that they had expected the trial to start today since the clients were committed to the High Court in 2015.
While appearing before Kampala High Court Judge Eva Luswata for their pre-trial hearing, the accused persons were inducted about what takes place in the pre-trial.
Justice Luswata reminded them that they should not take plea because the pre-trial is meant to prepare them for the main case. She explained that during the pre-trial hearing, the accused will tell court whether they have legal representation, whether they understand the languages used in court or if they need translators.
However during the session, it appeared that twenty two of the accused persons did not have legal representation. They also told court that they understand Luganda, Lugisu, Kiswahili, Lusoga and English languages.
Justice Luswata then ordered that in two days, the High Court Registrar should allocate state lawyers to those without representation.
Luswata also ordered prosecution to serve High Court with the documents of Jinja Magistrates court detailing how they were committed to High Court for the trial.
Justice Luswata adjourned the case to May 28th.
The main trial of the suspects will be heard by Justices Moses Mukiibi, Suzan Okalany and Michael Elubu.