Jamil Mukulu, 56, – the notorious leader and commander of Congo based Ugandan islamist rebel group the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) will start Monday and will be conducted in Luzira upper prison bringing an end to a 5 year wait for one of the region’s most wanted men to face Justice.he trial of
Jamil Mukulu, who was arrested in Tanzania in 2015 and subsequently extradited to Uganda, faces a raft, along with 37 others, of 20 charges including terrorism, murder, aggravated robbery, attempted murder and belonging to a terrorist organisation.
His trial will be conducted by the International Crimes Division of the High Court and a panel of three Judges led by Justice Michael Elubu will preside over his case.
According to Ms. Ruth Asaba, the communications officer of the International Crimes Division, access to Mr. Mukulu’s trial in the prison will be restricted to lawyers involved in the case and witnesses inorder to comply with Covid-19 guidelines.
” Members of the Press, relatives, and the general public can follow via video link in Court Room one at the Judiciary headquarters” Ms. Asaba says.
Mr Jamil Mukulu stands accused of masterminding the senseless killings of thousands of Ugandans including Muslim prelates and students dating about three decades ago.
Born a Christian named David Steven in Kayunga District, Jamil would later turn to the Islamic faith and undertake studies in Islamic theology in Saudi Arabia.
His militant activities can be traced to a fall out between the tabliq sect (to which he belonged) and the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council over control of the Nakasero Mosque.
When the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council, Jamil Mukulu construed the judgement as state interference in affairs of the Islamic faith and morphed the idea of creating an Islamic state in Uganda.
” He came back from Saudi Arabia a more devoted Muslim and ready to die for Islam. He talked about defending Islam all the time ” Hussein Lutwaama, his friend and ADF defector told the Daily Monitor in 2015.
In 1991, the Tabliq Sect attacked the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council killing people including policemen. Although Mukulu was arrested for the attack, he would later be released in 1995.
Between 1996 and 2001, Jamil Mukulu and his rebels unleashed brutal killings on civilians particularly in Western Uganda killing atleast 1000 people and displacing 150, 000 others, according to a 2002 United Nations Human Rights Commission Report.
In 1998, about 30 students were abducted from Mitandi Seventh Day Adventist College in Kasese district and that same year, atleast 50 students were burnt to death in an ADF attack on Kichwamba Technical College in present day Rubirizi district.
If convicted of terrorism, Mr Jamil Mukulu could face a death penalty.