We can’t try Kony in absentia – ICC clarifies

KAMPALA-The international Criminal Court (ICC) has distanced itself from allegations that its going to try Lord Resistance Army (LRA) commander Joseph Kony before his arrest.

Mr. Osvalado Zavala Giler , the Registrar for ICC court addressing journalists at Hotel Africana Kampala on Tuesday.

On addressing the press in Kampala on Tuesday, Osvalado Zavala Giler , the Registrar ICC who is on an official visit in Uganda, revealed that Kony like any other accused person before court still has a right to a fair trial and he is still considered innocent until proved guilty.

“Mr.Kony has a right of legal representative when appearing before court, incase he doesn’t appear before court , the judges can appoint a lawyer to act on Mr. Kony’s behalf.” Remarked Zavala

He pointed out that his office has already has commenced with process of identifying a lawyer to represent Kony as well as his interests during the confirmation of charges hearing.

“Its not a trial, the confirmation of charges hearing is to determine if sufficient proof exist to start the trial. It’s a public preliminary hearing where judges asses whether to or not to confirm any of the charges brought against the suspect (Kony).”

The pre trial hearing In Kony’s absentia followed the Court’s efforts to use all the available avenues ( in 19 years) to ensure that he appears in court for his pre trial , but this has not yielded any positive results thus prompting court to resort to this method since its provided for under the laws governing ICC.

That once Kony gets arrested after the pre trial session, he will just head for trial which will shorten his trial as well as saving court’s time

Zavala emphasized it that even after the judges have confirmed the charges against the accused, the case can’t proceed for trial in Kony’s absentia.

Joseph Kony is suspected of 36 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, allegedly committed between at least 1st July 2002 and 31st December 2005 in northern Uganda.

The ICC on 8th July 2005 issued an arrest warrant against Joseph Kony but up to now he is still at large since no state has ever come out to declare that they have arrested him.

Currently the ICC has got two Ugandan cases i.e The one against Joseph Kony (pending pre trial) and that of Dominic Ongwen (sentenced).

Ongwen was convicted and sentenced to 25 years jail term which he is currently serving in Norway.

Earlier on in February this year, the ICC ordered a total of Euros 52.429 million approximately 222 billion Shillings in compensation to the thousands of victims of Ongwen. The same court also ordered a symbolic payment of 750 euros to the estimated 49,772 direct and indirect victims of Ongwen’s atrocities.

The Registrar revealed that they are in the process of working on the reparations exercise but it will take some time and secondly , all victims will not receive their reparation at once.

Registrar’s official Visit

This is Osvalado Zavala Giler’s official visit to Uganda ever since he was elected as Registrar of ICC in February 2023.

During his visit to Uganda, he has held several engagements with Senior Government officials, members of the Diplomatic Community, United Nation Agencies, interacted with ICC Kampala based staff and other stake holders.

Osvalado commended the media for its overwhelming support to the ICC Court. “Your experiences and commitment to objective reporting about court proceedings have been instrumental in shaping accountability narrative and sharing messages of the court.” He added
































Most Popular

To Top