ICC hires British lawyer for Kony

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ICC hires British lawyer for Kony
Joseph Kony

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has hired Peter Haynes, a British barrister with more than 30 years' experience as the defence lawyer for Lord’s Resistance Army leader, Joseph Kony.

This was announced on Monday following applications by several lawyers, including Ugandans to be hired as defence lawyers for the wanted rebel leader.

“The panel agreed that the suitable candidates to represent the interests of Mr Kony during in absentia confirmation proceedings would be the candidates with the highest scores, namely Mr Peter Haynes,” the ICC said of the panel that chose Haynes as the best candidate after going through a series of questions.

The panel was composed of the Director of the Division of Judicial Services, the Head of the New York Liaison Office of the Court, the Chief of the Counsel Support Section and the President of the International Criminal Court Bar Association(ICCBA)

Peter Haynes previously served as the president of the ICCBA and also represented Democratic Republic of Congo’s Jean-Pierre Bemba as he battled war crimes at the ICC.

ICC issued an arrest warrant against Kony 19 years ago in 2005.

The ICC registrar, Osvaldo Zavala Giler last month said in Kampala that they have started the process that would culminate into the trial of the LRA rebel commander.

“All reasonable steps to inform Kony of his charges have been taken but under the prevailing circumstances, he has not yet been able to get arrested or hand himself over,” he said.

Osvaldo said the confirmation of charges procedure has kicked off  as part of the pre-trial for Kony.

“It is not a trial since the case is still under pre-trial.It is a public preliminary hearing to or not confirm any of the charges brought by the prosecutor against Kony. He is presumed innocent until proven guilty. This can happen in the absence of Kony. However, if the case goes for trial, it can’t happen in absence of Kony,” the registrar said.

The ICC registrar however said Kony’s trial will not kick off in his absence.

This means, the British lawyer will only represent Kony during the pre-trial.


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