International Justice Monitor

A project of the Open Society Justice Initiative

Kenya to be Referred to ASP for Non-Cooperation

Judges of the International Criminal Court (ICC) have decided Kenya should be referred to the court’s membership for not cooperating with the ICC during the now-terminated case against President Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta.

This decision makes Kenya the third country this year to be referred to the ICC’s membership, known officially as the Assembly of State Parties (ASP). The ASP is composed of countries that have ratified the ICC’s founding law, the Rome Statute. It is also the top decision-making body of the ICC when it comes to making changes to the Rome Statute and the ICC’s rules and regulations.

Djibouti and Uganda are the first and second countries to be referred to the ASP this year. A pre-trial chamber decided on … Continue Reading

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Prosecution’s 40th Witness in Ntaganda Trial Concludes Testimony in Closed Session

The 40th individual to testify against Bosco Ntaganda at the International Criminal Court (ICC) has today concluded giving evidence, with most of his testimony spanning three days heard in closed session. In the brief moments of open court, the testimony of the witness related to the presence of child soldiers within the ranks of the Union for Congolese Patriots (UPC).

According to the witness, child soldiers were denied food as punishment for disobedience, while others were beaten. “They could also be flogged. It didn’t matter where – buttocks, back, or stomach. I saw this with my own eyes in 2002,” recounted the witness. He said another type of punishment that he did not personally witness but heard of involved keeping the children submerged in … Continue Reading

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Ntaganda Ends Hunger Strike, Gives Defense Lawyers Mandate to Represent Him

Former Congolese rebel leader Bosco Ntaganda has ended his hunger strike and given his lawyers the mandate to represent him during his absence from the courtroom, putting an end to a 14-day boycott of proceedings in his trial at the International Criminal Court.

Ntaganda, whose hunger strike was provoked by an order from judges to maintain restrictions on his communications and contacts, apparently had a change of heart after court officials arranged for his wife to visit him for eight days this week, in conditions he deemed acceptable.

In court this afternoon, defense lawyer Stéphane Bourgon announced that Ntaganda had resumed eating and signed a waiver requesting to be excused from attending proceedings until Thursday, September 29, to enable him to attend a … Continue Reading

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Abuses by Pro-Ouattara Groups on the Agenda

This was the last day of Aurélie Fuchs’s interrogation. The former volunteer with the UN Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) was questioned by Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé’s defense lawyers about alleged abuses by the Invisible Commando.

Did UNOCI’s Human Rights Division investigate human rights violations committed by pro-Ouattara groups? This was what the defense wanted to know at the hearing on Wednesday, September 21. Aurélie Fuchs, a volunteer of the UN mission during the Ivorian post-electoral crisis, mentioned several field investigations relating to such incidents.

The human rights volunteer, in particular, talked about one of her missions at Anonkoua Kouté. She mentioned a “completely deserted village” on arrival, with the exception of “four octogenarians  and young people…affiliated with the Invisible … Continue Reading

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Verdict in ICC’s First Witness Tampering Trial Scheduled for October 19

The verdict in the first evidence tampering trial before the International Criminal Court (ICC) will be delivered on October 19, according to an order issued today by judges. The judgement will be delivered in open court at 14:30 local time in The Hague.
Former Congolese opposition leader Jean-Pierre Bemba, along with his two former lawyers Aimé Kilolo Musamba and Jean-Jacques Mangenda Kabongo and two other associates, stand accused of bribing and coaching witnesses to provide false testimony to the court. These 14 defense witnesses testified in Bemba’s trial over rape, murder, and pillaging by his Movement for the Liberation of Congo troops. Earlier this year, Bemba was convicted and sentenced to 18 years in prison, but he is appealing both the conviction and … Continue Reading

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War Crimes Prosecutions Update: The CREOMPAZ Case

On September 14, 2016, Guatemala’s Attorney General’s Office filed an appeal with the Supreme Court in an attempt to reverse a lower court ruling that would exclude several of the criminal charges brought in the CREOMPAZ case, as well as prevent two senior former military officials from facing trial.

The CREOMPAZ trial relates to alleged crimes against humanity committed during Guatemala’s 36-year civil conflict. Among the accused are some of the most notorious military officers from the counterinsurgency years, including Manuel Benedicto Lucas García, who was head of the General High Command of the Guatemalan Army during the military regime led by his brother, Fernando Romeo Lucas García (1978-82), who is also being investigated in relation to the Molina Theissen case.

Prosecutors … Continue Reading

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Credibility of Testimonies Gathered by UNOCI is Challenged by the Defense

Laurent Gbagbo’s defense questioned at length Aurélie Fuchs, on Tuesday, September 20, at the International Criminal Court (ICC). The UN employee, who worked in the field of human rights in Abidjan during the post-election crisis, discussed gathering evidence from alleged victims and the security situation in the country at the time.

The credibility of the testimonies collected by the former volunteer in  the UN Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) was at the heart of the questioning conducted by Laurent Gbagbo’s defense. During the post-election crisis, Aurélie Fuchs worked in a call center, set up by the UN operation to take calls from victims of human rights violations. Gbagbo’s lawyers  sought to know if people heard on the phone could be considered reliable and … Continue Reading

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UN Employee is Forced to Testify Openly

After a 10-day break, the trial of Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé resumed on Monday, September 19, in The Hague. The witness, who worked in the human rights division of the Ivorian UN mission during the post-election crisis, testified openly before the court.

“Protection measures are not justified.” This was stated by Judge Cuno Tarfusser before the testimony of the 16th prosecution witness in the Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé trial began. There was “no concrete and identifiable risk,” the presiding judge explained.

Despite requests for protection by the Office of the Prosecutor and the Victims and Witnesses Unit, it was openly and under her real name that Aurelia Fuchs answered questions from different parties. As an Advisor for Human … Continue Reading

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Trial Continues in Closed Session as Ntaganda’s Hunger Strike Enters Day 12

Today, war crimes accused Bosco Ntaganda’s lawyers conducted their cross-examination of the prosecution’s 39th witness in closed session, as the accused continued his hunger strike. The defense’s questioning of the witness, who goes by the pseudonym Witness P105, was conducted without instructions from the accused, who continues to boycott hearings.

On September 8, judges instructed the defense team to represent Ntaganda’s interests during hearings despite the former rebel leader’s refusal to grant them a mandate to represent him during his absence.

Witness P105 is the third individual to testify since Ntaganda went on hunger strike in protest against ongoing restrictions to his communications and contacts. The protest, which has been ongoing for 12 days, earlier last week saw court officials declare Ntaganda … Continue Reading

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Quelques Considerations Critiques sur les Reparations au Profit des Victimes dans l’Affaire contre Thomas Lubanga a la CPI

Cet article est écrit par le professeur Serge Makaya, Docteur en droit, Université Aix-Marseille, Professeur des universités (Université de Kinshasa, Université Protestante au Congo, Université Catholique du Congo), Avocat, Président du centre national de recherche sur la justice transitionnelle, plusieurs fois conseiller juridique au ministère  de la justice et droits humains. Les vues exprimées dans ce commentaire ne représentent pas nécessairement celles d’Open Society Justice Initiative.

Le 7 août 2012, la Chambre de première instance I de la Cour pénale internationale (CPI) s’est prononcée sur les réparations dues aux victimes dans l’affaire le Procureur contre Thomas Lubanga Dyilo.

Cette Chambre, ayant constaté préalablement l’insolvabilité du condamné, a ordonné au Fonds au profit des victimes de recueillir, auprès des victimes les propositions en matière … Continue Reading

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