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Defense Psychiatrist Says Ongwen Did Not Fake Mental Illness


Dickens Akena, a senior lecturer in psychiatry at Makerere University has told judges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) that the ex- Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) Commander Dominic Ongwen had two types of mental illness, and he did not pretend to have a mental illness during multiple interviews with defense psychiatrists.

Akena told the court on Monday last week that he and Professor Emilio Ovuga, former lecturer in Psychiatry at Gulu University concluded that Ongwen had post-traumatic stress disorder and dissociative disorders during the 15 to 18 interviews they had with him.

Akena said during those interviews they did test to see whether Ongwen was “malingering,” the term psychiatrists use for someone who is pretending to have a mental illness.

He was the first of two defense psychiatrists who testified last week in the trial of Ongwen, a former Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) commander.

The testimony of the two defense psychiatrists is meant to be evidence in support of a mental disease or defect defense that Ongwen’s legal team is presenting.

Ongwen’s lawyers are arguing that he cannot be held responsible for the crimes he has been charged with because he had a mental disease or defect during the period he is alleged to have committed the crimes.

Ongwen has been charged with 70 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

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