Doninic Ongwen on trial at the International Criminal Court

Dominic Ongwen trial week of 2 - 6 October 2017

17 October 2017 - 01:10

Military lawyer: I do not know of any commanders of the UPDF committing atrocities in the war against the LRA

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Krispus Ayena Odongo, the lead lawyer for Dominic Ongwen, challenged witness Lieutenant Colonel Timothy Nabaasa Kanyogonya, the Director of Legal Service at the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence on how he determined what evidence to give the ICC in 2004 without an arrest warrant.

Kanyogonya was testifying as the person who liaised between various Ugandan intelligence agencies and the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP), handling requests for information and other matters. Kanyogonya is the director of legal services at the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence.

During Tuesday’s hearing, a discussion followed between Presiding Judge Bertram Schmitt, Odongo, and senior trial lawyer Benjamin Gumpert about the details of Kanyogonya’s first statement to the OTP. Prosecution investigators interviewed Kanyogonya on November 22, 2004; he signed his statement on March 18, 2005.

Since an arrest warrant had not been issued at that time, Odongo asked whether Kanyogonya could say he was, “properly seized to execute your duty to give indications of what was exculpatory and what was incriminatory?”

Kanyogonya replied that he was given the job of liaising between Ugandan intelligence agencies and the ICC because he is a lawyer.

“I do not need the warrants to help me know what a crime is,” said Kanyogonya.

Earlier on Tuesday, Odongo asked Kanyogonya about allegations against the Ugandan military during the conflict in northern Uganda.

“Did it occur to you that it might be necessary, and your duty, to provide exculpatory evidence to indicate other notorious commanders on the other side of the battle?” asked Odongo.

“Your Honors, I am not aware of notorious commanders in the UPDF [Uganda People’s Defence Forces],” replied Kanyogonya.

“Mr. Witness, can you tell or confirm to this court whether there were hues and cries about incidents of indiscipline of UPDF officers in the prosecution of the war against the LRA?” continued Odongo.

“I do not know of any commanders of the UPDF committing atrocities in the war against the LRA,” answered Kanyogonya.


Witness says no one ever spoke of Ongwen participating in Pajule attack

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

The testimony of Witness P-081 began on Wednesday with senior prosecution lawyer Benjamin Gumpert asking him to explain 12 clarifications he made to his March 2005 statement to prosecution investigators. Witness P-081 made these clarifications in July 2007. Most of that questioning took place in private sessions.

The witness, a survivor of the October 2003 attack on the Pajule camp for internally displaced people told the International Criminal Court (ICC) that during his time with the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) no one told him Dominic Ongwen participated in the attack.

On Wednesday, Thomas Obhof, one of Ongwen’s lawyers, cross-examined Witness P-081. The witness recounted what an LRA commander had told him about Ongwen.

Obhof began his line of questioning by asking Witness P-081 whether the commander to whom he answered, Acel Chalo Par, told him Sinia Brigade participated in the Pajule attack.

“No, he never told me that. I never heard it,” replied the witness.

Obhof questioned him about some details of the Pajule attack then returned to the subject of Ongwen’s involvement in the attack.

“Have you talked with anybody that stated that they left Pajule with Mr. Ongwen?” asked Obhof.

“The people I talked to never mentioned the name of Ongwen in the Pajule attack,” replied the witness.


Witness tells court how tape recordings of LRA radio communications were enhanced

Thursday, 5 October 2017

A prosecution forensic officer described to the International Criminal Court (ICC) how he and a colleague enhanced speech in recordings of radio communications of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) that Ugandan security agencies intercepted more than a decade ago.

Xavier Laroche told the court on Thursday that he and Sabina Zanetta only enhanced speech from cassette recordings of LRA radio communications that were intercepted by Ugandan security agencies. Laroche said they did not authenticate the cassette tapes or carry out any other investigation on the tapes.

Laroche said he and Zanetta did not authenticate or carry out any forensic examination of the tapes.

“On this one again, I was only an operator using hardware and software to render an audio signal clearer and more intelligible. At no time did we delete or add anything on the audio signal,” said Laroche.

He said their job “was to apply filters to remove the unwanted sound and to make speech clearer.”

When Laroche concluded his testimony, Judge Schmitt said Thursday was the last day of this block of hearings. He said the court will adjourn until October 30 when Witness P-138 is scheduled to begin testifying.


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