Government appeals against Kwoyelo release

Monday September 26 2011

By Anthony Wesaka

The Attorney General has appealed against the Constitutional Court ruling which states that ex-LRA rebel Thomas Kwoyelo is entitled to receive amnesty and immunity just like others who had renounced rebel activities.

In his notice to appeal, Mr Peter Nyombi says he is dissatisfied with the decision of the Constitutional Court which stated that failure by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and the Amnesty Commission to issue a certificate of amnesty to Kwoyelo as provided for under the Act is unconstitutional.

Last week, five justices led by Justice Amos Twinomujuni ruled that the DPP and the Amnesty Commission have not accorded Kwoyelo equal treatment under the Amnesty Act.

Subsequently, the justices ordered that his file be taken back to the International Crimes Court in Gulu District to immediately cease his trial that had commenced about a month ago.

Mr Kwoyelo was facing over 53 charges of murder, aggravated robbery, destruction of property, among others during the two-decade LRA insurgency in northern Uganda.

However, with this appeal lodged in, Kwoyelo’s official release now hangs in balance. “Kwoyelo’s release now hangs in balance if the AG compels the Supreme Court to immediately sit and stay the earlier orders of the Constitutional Court until their appeal is heard and determined,” Mr Samuel Muyiizi Mulindwa, Kwoyelo’s lawyer, said yesterday.

He added: “If the International Crimes Division of the High Court in Gulu sits first before the earlier Constitutional Court orders are stayed, then Kwoyelo will be set free.”