Kwoyelo, Thomas (ICD-002/2010)

International Crimes Division of the High Court


August 30, 2018

Pre-trial hearing

Summary of hearings
The trial commenced with the defense counsel informing the Court that they had concerns to bring to the attention before the ruling could be delivered. He noted that the ICD had failed to translate the charge sheet as it was ordered earlier to ensure the accused understands the charges. He added the the trial Judge made an order for the facilitation of the interpretation which wasn’t implemented. He further emphasised that the defense lawyers had not been facilitated so as to enable them to prepare their defense.

One of the members of the defense team underlined the importance of translating the indictment to ensure fairness and justice, urging the court to implement the orders so as to enable to prepare the defense while emphasizing that Kwoyelo has been on remand for already 10 years.

In response to the defense’s concerns, the honourable judge expressed her disappointment towards the entities responsible for the smooth running of the court. She agreed that most of the rulings  made by the court were never implemented. She added that the judiciary has no financial excuse since the availability of the funds for the trial of Thomas Kwoyelo was already known. She further acknowledged the fact that Kwoyelo’s lawyers indeed needed to be able to prepare their defense, and promised to make a follow up of the judicial service commission and the relevant stakeholders to check if the money is released to enable the defense to prepare its case.

Finally, she noted that despite all the above challenges, she was ready to give the ruling on the confirmation of the charges against the accused because he was at least aware of the charges uttered against him.

The trial Judge made the final ruling and confirmed all the 93 charges made by the State against the accused. She observed that there was indeed reasonable cause for the case to go for trial since the prosecution had established a prima facie case to put the accused to his defense.

According to the Rules of procedure of the ICD, the pre-trial phase being completed, the accused shall now face trial before a panel of three judges which will determine the final outcome of the case. The trial panel will now set the date for the commencement of the trial.