The office of the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has said it will consider a move to slap more charges against Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) leader Joseph Kony.
Addressing journalists in Kampala on Friday, Dahirou Santana, the international cooperation advisor in the office of the ICC chief prosecutor said whereas there are already 33 charges against Kony, they are considering adding more charges.
“A warrant of arrest was issued against Joseph Kony in 2005 and it referred to 33 charges that he committed in Northern Uganda. We are exploring the possibility to add additional charges to the 33 that were given against Kony,” Dahirou said.
In 1987, Kony launched a rebellion against the Ugandan government basing his war in Northern Uganda where thousands of civilians were killed, raped , maimed and others displaced from their homes as the war raged on for more than two decades.
In November last year, the office of the chief prosecutor Karim Khan asked the ICC Pre-trial Chamber to confirm 33 charges against Kony.
Addressing journalists on Friday, the international cooperation advisor in the office of the ICC chief prosecutor said they will be seeking to add more charges to Kony.
He explained that the charges which are stemming from both crimes against humanity and war crime include rape, attack against civilian population, sexual enslavement murder, enslavement, rape, intentionally directing attacks against the civilian population, pillaging, and forced conscription of child soldiers, among others, “The idea will be to expand those charges and identify other locations that would be featuring in his case if we were to go for trial at a later stage,” Dahirou said.
Case for confirmation of charges
Dahirou Santana said the office of the ICC prosecutor having made an application to court seeking to have charges against Kony confirmed, they will be explaining to court the move.
“We will be showing court that there is a good cause for confirmation of charges against Joseph Kony. He has been evading justice for over 17 years now and these proceedings will be an opportunity for victims to make their views known to judges, raise their concerns and also to move forward with proceedings,”Dahirou said.
The official from the office of the ICC prosecutor explained that confirmation of charges against Kony will ensure efforts to have him apprehended and presented before the court will be rejuvenated.
“Kony fled and cannot be brought to court despite all reasonable efforts undertaken to have him appear .Court, states and other organisations have over the past decade tried to locate him and bring him without success.”
He noted that confirmation of chares hearing will allow the judge to determine whether there is enough evidence to pin Kony for the case to go for trial but noted that the trial will only happen in his presence in court.
The ICC last year sentenced former LRA commander, Dominic Ongwen to 25 years imprisonment over crimes committed during the war in Northern Uganda.
He became the first LRA commander to be arraigned before ICC .