Former Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) commander Dominic Ongwen will appeal against his jail sentence by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for war crimes in Uganda, his lawyer Krispus Ayena Odongo said.
Last week, Ongwen was sentenced to 25 years in prison for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Uganda.
Ongwen had faced 70 charges linked to a reign of terror in the early 2000s by the LRA, whose fugitive leader, Joseph Kony, waged a bloody campaign to set up a state-based on the Bible’s Ten Commandments.
“Horrific. The Judges missed the point even on basic principles of law,” Odongo, Ongwen’s lead defence lawyer, was quoted by local Ugandan publication the Daily Monitor as saying.
In early February, Ongwen was convicted of 61 crimes including rape, sexual enslavement, child abductions, torture and murder.
Ongwen could have received a maximum sentence of 30 years to life in prison. Prosecutors asked for a 20-year prison term. They argued that Ongwen’s own history of being abducted by the LRA as a school boy justified a lower sentence.
The court agreed that Ongwen’s kidnapping and circumstances were compelling, however, they felt they could not be disregarded.