Dominic Ongwen’s attorney Krispus Ayena Odongo has resigned from his position as his client before the International Criminal Court (ICC).
On June 1, 2022, Ayena submitted a plea to the Appeals Chamber asking for permission to resign from his position as Counsel for Ongwen in the Trial Chamber IX proceedings.
There was apparently a communication breakdown between the former Lord Resistance Army (LRA) rebel commander and his principal defense attorney.
On June 7, Justice Liz Del Carmen Ibanez Carranza declared, “Krispus Ayena Odongo’s plea for leave to withdraw as counsel for Ongwen in the above-mentioned appeal is granted.”
Krispus Ayena Odongo is a lawyer.
“The Registry is instructed to take all necessary actions to enable the prompt appointment,” the order reads.
Ongwen, who was Joseph Kony’s accomplice in atrocities in northern Uganda, is currently serving a 25-year prison sentence in the Hague and has retained Charles Achalette Taku, another defense attorney of Cameroonian descent.
Ongwen was given a 25-year prison term by the Trial Chamber for war crimes and crimes against humanity on May 6, 2021. He is contesting this judgment.
Charles Achalette Taku, an attorney
Ongwen consented to name Taku as his replacement lead defense attorney to take Ayena’s place for the remaining appeal procedures, Taku stated in a notification he submitted to the Appeals Chamber on June 1.
Communication between Ayena and Ongwen “has entirely broken down,” according to Taku, who also argued that the legal team that is defending Ongwen won’t change because they are familiar with the case and won’t cause any delays or disruptions to the current procedures.