Confirmation of Kony charges hearing will lead to fatigue, Ugandans tell ICC

Participants attend a meeting organized by the ICC at Gracious Palace Hotel in Lira City on January 24, 2023. PHOTO/BILL OKETCH

What you need to know:

  • Confirmation of charge hearing is a process that usually takes place ahead of a trial.

Representatives of persons affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) insurgency have said “there would be possible fatigue and exhaustion” in the eventuality of a confirmation of charges hearing involving Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony.

In November 2022, the International Criminal Court (ICC) chief prosecutor Karim Khan sought to revive cases against the fugitive Ugandan rebel commander who remains at large despite an arrest warrant issued against him in 2005 on allegations of war crimes.

Prosecutor Karim Khan said he had asked judges for authorisation to hold a hearing to confirm the charges against Kony in his absence.

Now, Ms Judy Adoko, who is also a traditional leader in Lango Sub-region, said the process seems to be very thinly close to the real trial “and you might go through exhaustion just collecting evidence and getting witnesses.”

“It will cause exhaustion and might not work,” Ms Adoko told ICC officials who were in Lira City on Tuesday to brief Lango sub region people regarding matters in the Hague based court.

Ms Adoko’s concern was embraced by a handful of Ugandans that attended the meeting with the ICC team. 

Mr Anthony Otim, a human rights officer with Uganda Human Rights Commission, said: “At this rate even cases against God can be taken to ICC. I just want to know if it is really possible for ICC to try someone who is not there. We do not even know if he (Kony) is still alive or dead.”

Kony launched a bloody rebellion more than three decades ago- seeking to impose his own version of the Ten Commandments in northern Uganda before unleashing a campaign of terror that spread to several neighboring countries.

ICC insists that confirming the charges against Kony would make it easier and quicker to put him on trial should he be captured.

“Any hearing involving Kony would be a meaningful milestone for victims of Kony’s crimes who have waited patiently for justice for almost two decades,” the Court argues.

Confirmation of charge hearing is a process that usually takes place ahead of a trial. It’s only when charges against a particular suspect are confirmed by the judges that the case is ready to go to trial.


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