International Justice Monitor

A project of the Open Society Justice Initiative

In Ituri, Katanga Verdict Viewed as a Limited Success

Dear readers – please find below a commentary written by Olivia Bueno at the International Refugee Rights Initiative (IRRI) in consultation with Congolese activists. The views and opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of IRRI or of the Open Society Justice Initiative.

On Friday March 7, 2014, Trial Chamber II at the International Criminal Court (ICC) convicted, by a majority, Germain Katanga as an accessory to four war crimes (murder, attacking a civilian population, destruction of property, and pillaging) and one crime against humanity (murder). While some welcomed the verdict, reactions to the decision focused as much on what had not been done, as what had. In particular, questions were raised about the failure of the … Continue Reading

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Katanga Judgment Underlines Need for Stronger ICC Focus on Sexual Violence

NEW YORK—The International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague has just delivered its third judgment, finding Germain Katanga, a Congolese militia leader, guilty of promoting a brutal attack on civilians in eastern Congo in 2003.

For the often-criticized tribunal, the successful completion of another trial marks a welcome step forward, even if in this case, it is something of a partial victory. The trial has been troubled by questions of whether the ICC properly protected Katanga’s rights as a defendant – one of the three judges decided they had not. And the verdict itself is also troubling in another way.

While Katanga was found to be indirectly responsible for the massacre that occurred, he was acquitted of all responsibility for the vicious … Continue Reading

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Germain Katanga found Guilty by the ICC

Today, Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court (ICC) convicted Germain Katanga in the ICC’s third trial judgment.

Germain 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). He was charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during an attack on Bogoro in the Ituri region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

The attack targeted a rival militia, the Union of Congolese Patriotics (UPC), as well as the predominantly Hema civilian population living in Bogoro. Ngiti soldiers—some of them children—descended on the village while most villagers were still sleeping. They proceeded to kill, rape, burn, and pillage, the chamber found. … Continue Reading

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Fundamental Fair Trial Questions Remain Unanswered Ahead of Tomorrow’s Judgment in the Katanga Case

Clair Duffy is a Senior Legal Advisor International Bar Association. The views expressed herein are the author’s own views and do not necessarily reflect those of the International Bar Association or of the Open Society Justice Initiative.

On Friday at 9:30am The Hague time, Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court[i] will deliver its judgment in the case against Germain Katanga (in the ICC situation country of Democratic Republic of the Congo). It will be the third trial judgment to be delivered by the ICC since the court’s inception – all of them so far concerning crimes committed in eastern DRC. The same trial chamber acquitted Katanga’s former co-accused, Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui, in December 2012, about one month after splitting … Continue Reading

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Waiting for Judgment: Communities in Ituri Await the Katanga Verdict with Impatience

Dear readers – please find below a commentary written by Olivia Bueno at the International Refugee Rights Initiative (IRRI) in consultation with Congolese activists.  The views and opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of IRRI or of the Open Society Justice Initiative.

The verdict in the case against Germain Katanga, the alleged commander of the Forces de Résistance Patriotique en Ituri (FRPI), for war crimes and crimes against humanity in relation to an attack on the village of Bogoro in Ituri, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is being awaited with impatience in Ituri. Having followed trials at the International Criminal Court (ICC) for years (the verdict against Katanga will be the third in cases relating … Continue Reading

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Germain Katanga Judgment Scheduled for March 7

The International Criminal Court’s Trial Chamber II has rescheduled its  judgment in the case The Prosecutor v. Germain Katanga to Friday, March 7, 2014, at 9:30 (The Hague local time). The original date of February 7, 2014 was changed as one of the judges was  unavailable for health reasons.

For background on the trial, the Open Society Justice Initiative has produced a 2-page fact sheet and a more in depth 15-page briefing paper.

Katanga, alleged commander of the Force de résistance patriotique en
Ituri [Patriotic Resistance Force in Ituri] (FRPI) is accused of three
counts of crimes against humanity (murder, rape, and sexual slavery) and seven counts of war crimes (using children under the age of 15 to take active part in the hostilities; directing an … Continue Reading

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Appeals Chamber Majority Orders Witnesses back to DRC

A majority of the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Judge Sang-Hyun Song dissenting, has ordered three detained witnesses to be returned immediately to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The witnesses have been detained at the ICC Detention Center since they arrived in The Hague in March 2011 to testify in the trial of Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui.

Katanga and Ngudjolo are accused of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity in Bogoro, a village in the DRC. In December 2012, after the cases were severed, Ngudjolo was acquitted of all charges; he awaits the appeal judgment in his case. Germain Katanga is still on trial, awaiting final judgment.

Before coming to testify, the witnesses had been … Continue Reading

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Prosecution appeals Trial Chamber II's judgement acquitting Ngudjolo

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The following commentary first ran in the third Special Issue of Legal Eye on the ICC, a regular eLetter produced by the Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice, an international women’s human rights organization that advocates for gender justice through the International Criminal Court (ICC) and works with women most affected by the conflict situations under investigation by the ICC. The views and opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Open Society Justice Initiative. To read the full version of the Special Issue of the Legal Eye eLetter, including an article on Ngudjolo’s release from Schipol immigration detention center on May 4, 2013, click here. To read the previous Special Issues, click here.  

On December 18, 2012, … Continue Reading

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Defense Requests Stay of Proceedings

The defense for Germain Katanga has requested Trial Chamber II at the International Criminal Court (ICC) to issue a permanent stay of proceedings, just two months before Katanga is due to hear the trial chamber’s judgment in his case.

Background

The prosecutor originally charged Katanga and his then co-accused Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui with crimes against humanity and war crimes allegedly committed during an attack on Bogoro, a village in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). They were accused under Article 25(3)(a) of having committed the crimes through “indirect co-perpetration,” where Katanga and Ngudjolo allegedly used hierarchical organizations (the Ituri Patriotic Resistance Force (FRPI) and the Nationalist and Integrationist Front (FNI), respectively) to carry out the crimes according to Katanga and Ngudjolo’s … Continue Reading

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The Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice Expert Paper: Modes of Liability: A review of the International Criminal Court’s current jurisprudence and practice

Dear Readers,

The following commentary first ran in the Legal Eye on the ICC, a regular eLetter produced by the Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice, an international women’s human rights organization that advocates for gender justice through the International Criminal Court (ICC) and works with women most affected by the conflict situations under investigation by the ICC. The views and opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Open Society Justice Initiative. To read the full version of the Legal Eye eLetter, click here. To read the previous Special Issues, click here.  

The Expert Paper on modes of liability, the first of a new series, was launched by the Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice in The Hague at the … Continue Reading

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