International Justice Monitor

A project of the Open Society Justice Initiative

National Prosecution of Katanga Can Proceed, Says ICC Presidency

On April 7, 2016, the Presidency of the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued a decision approving the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC’s) request to prosecute Germain Katanga before the High Military Court in Kinshasa for war crimes and crimes against humanity. The Presidency concluded that the proposed domestic prosecution did not “undermine fundamental principles or procedures of the Rome Statute or otherwise affect the integrity of the Court.”

This decision is important because it is the first time the ICC has interpreted Article 108 of the Rome Statute. Article 108 requires a country that has custody of a sentenced person to seek approval from the court if it intends to prosecute that person for “any conduct engaged in prior to that … Continue Reading

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Germain Katanga Granted Early Release

On November 13, a panel of three appeals judges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) decided to reduce Germain Katanga’s sentence. He will be released from the ICC detention center on January 18, 2016.

In March 2014, Trial Chamber II of the ICC convicted Katanga for crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in Bogoro, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in 2003. He was sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment. Katanga decided not to appeal his judgment, accepting the ICC’s verdict and sentence. As of September 18, 2015, he had served two-thirds of his sentence, prompting a judicial review of his remaining term.

There are seven factors the judges had to consider under Article 110 of the Rome Statute and Rule 223 … Continue Reading

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Prosecution Does Not Oppose Katanga’s Release

On Oct. 6, a panel of three appeals chamber judges from the International Criminal Court (ICC) heard submissions on whether Germain Katanga should be released early from imprisonment.

Katanga is the former leader of an armed militia that became known as the Force de Résistance Patriotique en Ituri (FRPI, Patriotic Resistance Forces in Ituri). In March 2014, Katanga was convicted for aiding and abetting war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during a February 2003 attack on Bogoro in in the Ituri region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). He was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment in May 2014.

Although he was sentenced just over a year ago, Katanga has already served two-thirds of his sentence, having been in detention … Continue Reading

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ICC Judges to Consider Katanga’s Early Release

Next week, a panel of three appeals chamber judges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) will hear arguments about the early release of Germain Katanga. In March 2014, Trial Chamber II of the ICC convicted Katanga for crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in Bogoro, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in 2003. He was sentenced to ­12 years’ imprisonment. Katanga decided not to appeal his judgment, accepting the ICC’s verdict and sentence.

As of September 18, 2015, Katanga had served two-thirds of his sentence. He was arrested and detained in the DRC in February 2005 before being transferred to the ICC in 2007. He has been in the ICC detention center for eight years, most of that time awaiting … Continue Reading

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Ngudjolo’s Asylum Proceedings: The Saga Continues

This blog is a follow-up to the guest blog issued on March 13, 2015, titled “Asylum Proceedings in the Ngudjolo Case: What Happened in the Dutch Courts.”

On December 18, 2012, judges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) acquitted Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui of charges of crimes against humanity and war crimes stemming from a 2003 attack on the village of Bogoro in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Fearing for his safety upon his return to the DRC, Ngudjolo filed a first application for asylum in the Netherlands on December 25, 2012, shortly after his acquittal by Trial Chamber II. This application was rejected; however, Ngudjolo remained in the Netherlands to await the ICC Appeals Chamber decision on his acquittal. After … Continue Reading

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Voices from the Ground: Reactions from Ituri on Recent ICC Judgments

The below transcript is from a program on Radio Canal Révélation, a radio station based in Bunia, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which aired between March 6 and 11, 2015. The program is part of the radio station’s Interactive Radio for Justice and Peace Project, which promotes discussion on critical issues around justice in DRC. This transcript has been edited to remove non-relevant information.

In part one of the program International Criminal Court (ICC) officials take questions from listeners about the ongoing investigations and cases in the DRC. Part two of the program specifically addresses the recent ICC Appeals Chamber decision upholding the acquittal of Mathieu Ngdujolo Chui. 

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Part I

Presenter (Didyne Uweka): Welcome Radio Canal Révélation listeners to the fourth show in … Continue Reading

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Asylum Proceedings in the Ngudjolo Case: What Happened in the Dutch Courts?

This guest blog is written by Wieteke Theeuwen, who is a Legal Fellow with the Coalition for the International Criminal Court. She holds a Master of laws in Public International Law from Leiden University and an LL.B in Dutch and European Law from Maastricht University. The views and opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Open Society Justice Initiative.

On Friday, February 27, the International Criminal Court (ICC) Appeals Chamber confirmed the acquittal of Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui. He had been charged with crimes against humanity and war crimes for a 2003 attack on the village of Bogoro in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Immediately after Ngudjolo was acquitted, Dutch authorities escorted him to Schiphol airport … Continue Reading

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ICC Appeals Chamber Upholds Ngudjolo’s Acquittal

Today, the Appeals Chamber at the International Criminal Court (ICC) delivered its judgment in the appeal lodged by the prosecution against the acquittal of Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui. In December 2012, Trial Chamber II acquitted Ngudjolo of war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly committed during an attack on the village of Bogoro in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). A majority of the five-judge panel confirmed the acquittal. Two judges dissented.

The prosecutor had put forward three grounds of appeals, namely:

That the trial chamber erred in law in its application of the “guilty beyond reasonable doubt” standard of proof;
That the trial chamber erred in law because it failed to consider all the evidence and facts in making its decision; and
That … Continue Reading

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Appeals Judgment on the Acquittal of Ngudjolo to be Announced February 24

Today, the International Criminal Court (ICC) announced that the appeal judgment on the acquittal of Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui will be delivered on Tuesday, February 24. Trial Chamber II acquitted Ngudjolo of all charges on December 18, 2012 after they severed his trial from co-accused Germain Katanga.

Ngudjolo was charged with seven counts of war crimes (using children under the age of fifteen to take active part in hostilities, directing an attack against civilians, willful killing, destruction of property, pillaging, sexual slavery, and rape) and three counts of crimes against humanity (murder, rape, and sexual slavery) allegedly committed during an attack on the village of Bogoro in the Ituri region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on February 24, 2003.

The … Continue Reading

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Appeals Chamber Hears Arguments in Ngudjolo Trial; Ngudjolo Claims He is a Victim

Today the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) heard submissions from the parties in the trial of Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui.

Ngudjolo was charged with seven counts of war crimes (using children under the age of fifteen to take active part in hostilities; directing an attack against civilians; willful killing; destruction of property; pillaging; sexual slavery; and rape) and three counts of crimes against humanity (murder, rape, and sexual slavery) allegedly committed during an attack on the village of Bogoro, in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on February 24, 2003.

For all of the crimes except those related to child soldiers, he is accused of having committed the crimes through “indirect co-perpetration,” where the accused used a hierarchical organization … Continue Reading

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