KAMPALA. An official of the International Criminal Court (ICC) yesterday revealed they are still studying the petition asking them to institute investigations into the 2016 assault on the Rwenzururu king, Charles Wesley Mumbere's palace by the army and police.
More than 100 civilian were killed during the assault on the palace in Kasese District.
Mr Santa-Anna Dahirou yesterday confirmed that The Hague-based court received the petition and that they are still studying its merits.
“We are now in the context of what we call preliminary examination. A preliminary examination stage is a stage where we have to be satisfied that all the legal criteria under the Rome Statute is met to determine that there is a reasonable basis to commence an investigation,” Mr Dahirou told journalists in Kampala.
The ICC official further explained that there is no set time frame on when to conclude the preliminary investigations and determine whether to investigate or not.
He made the confirmation while giving updates on the judicial proceedings and the status of the case of Dominic Ongwen, the former Lord’s Resistance Army rebel commander now on trial before the ICC for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
The press briefing was part of the series of activities to mark the 20 years since the creation of the Rome Statute that established the ICC.
In December 2016, a group of MPs from the Rwenzori sub-region, petitioned the ICC to investigate the Kasese killings. The petition was against President Museveni in his capacity as commander-in-chief of the armed forces, Maj Gen Peter Elwelu who commanded the attack on the palace and Assistant Inspector General of Police Asuman Mugenyi.
“Brig Elwelu kept on saying he was acting on the orders of the commander-in-chief who is President Museveni, and Deputy Inspector General of Police Asuman Mugenyi, who physically commanded the bloody operation,” Ms Winnie Kiiza, the Leader of Opposition in Parliament, who is part of the petitioners, told the media then.
The petition stated that people who died in the attack include royal guards, women, children, domestic workers at the palace and visitors.
Other MPs who are part of the petitioners are Robert Centenary (Kasese Municipality), Nzoghu William (Busongora East), Katusabe Atkins, (Busongora West), Niwagaba Wilfred, (Ndorwa East)
When MP Centenary was contacted, he confirmed the ICC team had written to them.
“They wrote to us twice with the latest time being in January this year. They were indicating to us that they were still investigating and that they have not forgotten about our petition. However, they are taking too long,” Mr Centenary said.