Red Pepper Uganda

ICC asks Uganda to Verify Evidence against LRA’s Dominic Ongwen

The International Criminal court has officially requested for the help of the Ugandan Government to verify documents that are being used in the trial of former LRA commander Dominic Ongwen.

In a mail to the Ugandan Attorney General, the ICC registrar asked the Ugandan government to aid in the verification and validation of documents to be used in the trial starting this August.

Ongwen is charged for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during attacks on IDP camps during the LRA insurgency in Northern Uganda.

Some of the charges arise out of the ‘Teso Campaign’ offensive in which Ongwen, a commander of the Sinia brigade then, is alleged to have carried out attacks on the Lukodi IDP camp and burnt 210 homesteads, presided over the killing of 41 civilians and also led the abduction of six people who had survived the attack.  That offensive was ordered by Joseph Kony in 2002.

The information on the attack was sourced from intercepted radio communications of the LRA by the UPDF and corroborated by witnesses and former members of the Lord’s Resistance Army.

It is the documents that form this evidence that the ICC registry is seeking Ugandan government validation and verification.

The ICC team will be in the country on Sunday to start the process of verification of the documents.

Attorney General Peter Nyombi told a press conference in Kampala today that the Government has set up a committee to collaborate with the ICC on any information that may be required for the prosecution of Dominic Ongwen.

Nyombi also denied reports that government had offered legal representation to Ongwen. Nyombi said the ICC will provide Ongwen with a lawyer of his choice at the ICC bar and the government has nothing to do with the process

Ongwen’s trial will continue after a scheduling conference that is supposed to be held next month. Charges on him are also expected to be confirmed in August.

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