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Second Prosecution Witness Testifies in Ongwen Trial

Using quasi name P-403, the witness who is a staff member of the Office of the Prosecutor OTP explained how Ugandas security agencies intercepted radio communications between different leaders of the LRA.
A second prosecution witness has testified before Judges at The Hague based International Criminal Court (ICC) revealing how Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) commanders cleverly eluded interception of their delicate communications.

Using quasi name P-403, the witness who is a staff member of the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) explained how Uganda's security agencies intercepted radio communications between different leaders of the LRA.

Witness P-403 who remained invisible with a distorted image on screens to the public gallery, revealed that when LRA commanders wanted to broadcast sensitive information, they often used puzzles well known within the LRA known as TONFAS.

The TONFAS communication code stood for Time, Operator, Nicknames, Frequencies, Address, and Security which was in a document that was copied by hand and distributed by hand to each commander.

Witness P-403 was the second to testify after Tim Allen, a professor at the London School of Economics on January 16 who, as the first prosecution witness, gave an account of Uganda's history and LRA conflict after years of his research which dates back to 1980s.

Records of the interception of LRA communications forms is one set of evidence the prosecution is using to prove their case against Dominic Ongwen, a former commander of the Ugandan rebel group who has been charged with 70 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The intercepted communication evidence according to the witness were recorded in stages by the Uganda police, Uganda People's Defence Forces, and the Internal Security Organisation covering the period July 2002 to December 2005.

Witness P-403 will continue to testify as the trail of Ongwen enters day four of the 15 days. Ongwen's defence lawyers led by Crispus Ayena Odongo do cross-examination of each witness account.

Ongwen, 41, allegedly played role in attacks between July 2002 and December 2005 on four camps for people displaced by the conflict in northern Uganda. The charges against him include murder, attempted murder, forcibly marrying seven women and sexual crimes against those women.

Prosecutors say they may call up to 70 witnesses to testify in the trial of Ongwen.