ICTJ Condemns the Murder of Joan Kagezi, Prosecutor of International Crimes in Uganda

3/31/2015

KAMPALA, March 31, 2015 – The International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) condemns in the strongest terms the murder last night of Senior Principal State Attorney Joan Kagezi, in Kiwatule, east of Kampala. As the founding prosecutor of the International Crimes Division of the High Court of Uganda, Kagezi played an instrumental role in introducing best practices to advance the effective investigation and prosecution of international crimes in Uganda.

“ICTJ pays tribute to Ms. Kagezi for her commitment to secure justice for victims of serious crimes,” said David Tolbert, President of ICTJ. “We condemn this horrendous crime and call on the government to review the protection afforded to justice officials handling such sensitive cases.”

Following the civil wars and other internal conflicts in Uganda, the International Crimes Division was established in 2008 to try perpetrators of war crimes, genocide, crimes against humanity, terrorism and trafficking.

As the head of the Prosecutions Unit at the International Crimes Division, Ms. Kagezi introduced prosecutor-led investigations and included trauma counselors as part of the investigations team.

“Ms. Kagezi was always willing to engage with civil society and victims’ representatives to explain the court process, provide updates on pending cases, and highlight the challenges faced,” said Michael Otim, ICTJ’s Head of Office in Kampala. “Her death represents an enormous loss.”

ICTJ calls on the authorities to conduct an effective investigation into this tragic crime and to bring to justice those responsible for this attack.

Contact

Sarah Kihika Kasande, ICTJ Associate, Uganda
skasande@ictj.org / +256-77-2-840857


PHOTO: Joan Kagezi, Head of Prosecution at the International Crimes Division of the High Court, during the National War Victims Conference in Uganda in 2014. (AYINET)