26 September 2018

Uganda: Kwoyelo Trial Adjourned Over Poorly Translated Charges

Photo: Monitor
Former Lord's Resistance Army leader, Thomas Kwoyelo (file photo).

Gulu — The trial of former Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) commander Thomas Kwoyelo has suffered yet another setback as a panel of three judges of the International Crimes Division (ICD) of the High Court adjourned the case to November 5.

Kwoyelo's lawyer Charles Dalton Opwonya yesterday told the judges that the State had served them [defence team] and the accused a copy of poorly translated Luo version of the charges.

"My lord, the copy of translated indictment we received was poorly translated. It had no name of the translator and was not even signed. In any case, if this had been signed from Makerere University, a certificate of translation would have been issued," he said.

Mr Opwonya also said it would be unfair for the court to subject Kwoyelo to enter plea yet he has not understood the charges preferred against him. He also told the court that the ICD registry had failed to facilitate the defence team and the victim to enable them get witnesses and evidence for the accused.

Justice Michael Elubu agreed with Mr Opwonya's submissions and ordered the registry to avail the defence team and the accused a properly translated copy of the charges and ensure the teams are facilitated by October 10. Justice Elubu adjourned the case to November 5.

The charges

Different view. Kwoyelo, whose trial commenced on Monday, was charged with 93 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity alleged to have been committed in Pagak Internally Displaced People's camp in Amuru between 1993 and 2005.

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