Kwoyelo sent back to Luzira

Wednesday January 11 2012

By Ephraim Kasozi & Juliet Kigongo

Thomas Kwoyelo, the former LRA commander, remains uncertain of his future after he was further remanded to Luzira Prison on Monday awaiting a judgement on notice.

Kwoyelo’s ruling could not be delivered as earlier scheduled at the High Court in Kampala because the presiding Judge, Justice Vincent Zehurikirize, was away taking part in the ongoing Judiciary conference.
In December last year, court after concluding hearing from the defence and prosecution lawyers set January 9 for the ruling to determine whether Kwoyelo would be released or not.

The December hearing followed a government’s decision to ignore an earlier court ruling setting the former rebel commander free, arguing that he had other criminal charges, making him ineligible for amnesty.
As a consequence, the ex-rebel commander remains incarcerated in spite the Constitutional Court ruling which declared that he be set free and granted amnesty just like others who have renounced rebel activities before.

DPP’s take
The Directorate of Public Prosecutions while closing his argument in a letter before court, maintained that Kwoyelo cannot be released from jail.

“We noted that in addition to charges of kidnap with intention to murder that you mentioned in your letter, the applicant (Kwoyelo) is charged with murder contrary to 188 and 189 of the Penal Code,” stated the DPP’s letter to the amnesty commission.

But Mr Caleb Alaka, Kwoyelo’s lawyer, argued that the continued imprisonment and failure to issue his client an amnesty certificate defies the Constitutional Court ruling of September 22.

The International Crimes Division of the High Court sitting in Gulu chaired by Justice Dan Akiiki Kiiza has since ceased the trial against Kwoyelo following the Constitutional Court order.