Summary of hearings
On Monday 11 June, the court was meant to confirm the charges that the prosecution brought against Thomas Kwoyelo. Indeed, according to the Rules of Procedure and Evidence of the ICD, a pre-trial needs to be conducted before the main trial to confirm whether a prima-facie case has been established against the suspects. This pre-trial stage started almost 7 years ago and has ever since been dragging for numerous reasons, leaving both the national and international community as to whether the matter shall proceed to trial or not.
The latest delay in the confirmation of Thomas Kwoyelo’s charges was caused by the defense team, as one of the co-counsels was unable to make it to the court for the trial, due to the alleged late notice of trial. One of the defense counsel argued that more documents were brought recently, and that, considering these changes, the counsel needed more time to prepare.
No objections were raised by either the prosecution or the victims’ counsels. The latter requested the court to caution the defense team in the interest of justice.
In response to the defense’s motions, the honourable judge informed the accused that his lawyers were served with all of the court documents and should have taken the liberty to inform him of the same. His lawyers, appointed on private brief, have so far absconded court three times despite the fact that they were duly served by the court. The judge further advised him to summon all of his lawyers, communicated his concerns and informed him that any lawyer’s reappointment should be done by the next pre-trial hearing, which was set for July 23rd-25th.
The charges are now expected to be confirmed on July 25th and the ruling issued on that same week. The various parties to the case are required to prepare skeleton submissions by then.