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    ICC Appoints Peter Haynes to Represent Fugitive Rebel Leader Joseph Kony

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    ICC Appoints Peter Haynes to Represent Fugitive Rebel Leader Joseph Kony
    • June 27, 2024 • 27 days ago
    in summary
    The International Criminal Court has appointed British lawyer Peter Haynes to represent Joseph Kony, the fugitive leader of the Lords Resistance Army, during upcoming legal proceedings. This marks the first time the ICC will hold a confirmation of charges hearing in absentia for Kony, who is accused of numerous war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in northern Uganda.

    The International Criminal Court (ICC) has appointed Peter Haynes, a distinguished British lawyer, as the counsel to represent Joseph Kony, the infamous leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). This decision, made by the ICC registry on June 21, comes as part of the proceedings against Kony, who has been a fugitive for nearly two decades.

    Haynes, known for his extensive experience in international criminal and humanitarian law, will be representing Kony during the confirmation process and the confirmation hearing scheduled to begin on October 15. This appointment is a significant step in the ICC's efforts to hold Kony accountable for his alleged crimes, even in his absence.

    The appointment follows a ruling in March by the judges at the Pre-Trial Chamber IX, who decided that the confirmation of charges hearing against Kony would proceed in absentia. This marks the first time the ICC will hold such a hearing without the suspect present, highlighting the court's commitment to pursuing justice despite Kony's prolonged evasion of capture. The court instructed the registry to begin the process of selecting a suitable counsel to represent Kony's interests.

    The case against Kony was revitalized last year by ICC prosecutor Karim Khan, who petitioned the Trial Chamber IX to move forward with the charges, almost 18 years after the original arrest warrant was issued. Kony is accused of 36 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, allegedly committed between July 1, 2002, and December 31, 2005, in northern Uganda. These charges include murder, enslavement, sexual enslavement, rape, and the conscription of children.

    Joseph Kony founded the LRA and led a violent rebellion in northern Uganda that caused massive displacement and loss of life. The United Nations reports that approximately 1.5 million people were displaced, hundreds of thousands were killed, and thousands were abducted and forced into the LRA's ranks. Kony remains the last fugitive among the top LRA leaders indicted by the ICC in 2005.

    The other indicted leaders include Dominic Ongwen, who is currently serving a 25-year prison sentence after his conviction by the ICC, and Raska Lukwiya, Okot Odhiambo, and Vincent Otti, whose charges were dropped following their deaths.

    Peter Haynes brings a wealth of experience to this high-profile case. Over the past 17 years, he has appeared before various international tribunals, including the ICC and the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. Notably, he defended General Vinko Pandurevi? in connection with the Srebrenica massacre and successfully appealed the charges against Jean-Pierre Bemba, a former defense minister and senator from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Haynes also served as President of the International Criminal Court Bar Association from 2019 to 2021, being the first and only person to be re-elected to this position.

    Haynes's appointment is a crucial element in ensuring that Kony’s rights are represented during the ICC proceedings, reaffirming the court's dedication to upholding justice and accountability in international law.

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