The International Crimes Division (ICD) of the High Court has finally picked a panel of three judges to hear the high profile trial of Jamil Mukulu, the rebel leader of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF).
According to the cause-list drawn by the court’s registry, which is as of February, justices Moses Mukiibi, Micheal Elubu and Suzan Okalany have been picked to hear the case.
The procedural rules of the ICD demand that there should be a pre-trial first to confirm whether a prema-facie case has been established against the suspect/s before the main trial is conducted.
To that effect, Justice Eva Kawuma Luswata has also been picked to handle the pre-trial process.
However, the court has not yet fixed the exact dates for the pre-trial and main hearing of Mukulu’s case.
Mr Mukulu, who is currently held at Luzira Prison, is charged with 34 others.
He faces one count of terrorism, seven counts of murder, nine counts of aggravated robbery, one count of aiding and abetting terrorism and one count of crimes against humanity.
Other charges include four counts of attempted murder and one count of belonging to a terrorist organisation.
Mr Mukulu was first detained at Nalufenya Police Station in Jinja District and appeared in Jinja Chief Magistrate’s Court in 2015 before he was transferred to Luzira Prison. Only his co-accused, Dr Aggrey Kiyingi, a Ugandan cardiologist living in Australia, is not in prison
Mr Mukulu is accused of launching a rebellion against the President Museveni’s government and terrorising people in Rwenzori sub-region in western Uganda before establishing his base in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
He is also linked to the spate of murders of sheikhs in the country between 2013 and 2015 and killing of two policemen at Bugiri Police Station in Busoga.
Mr Mukulu was arrested in Tanzania in April 2015 and extradited to Uganda.
In a related development, the same court has picked another separate three-judge panel to hear the main case involving Thomas Kwoyelo, alias Latoni, a former middle rebel commander with the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) led by Joseph Kony.
The justices picked to preside over Kwoyelo’s main trial are; Moses Mukiibi, Duncan Gaswaga and Micheal Elubu.
The pre-trial session that is already ongoing is being presided over by Justice Okalany.
Mr Kwoyelo, who is currently held at Luzira Prison, surrendered in 2008 to Uganda People’s Defence Forces in CAR.