International Justice Monitor

A project of the Open Society Justice Initiative

The GPP was Involved in Several Incidents During the Election Crisis

The prosecution continued to question Metche Metchro Moise Harold Fabrice Thursday, October 20, at the International Criminal Court. The questions focused on incidents involving the Group of Patriots for Peace (GPP) in the presidential election and post-election crisis.

While it had remained quiet since the 2007 disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) agreements, the GPP came back on center stage with the approach of presidential elections in 2010. “Officially it was disbanded in 2007, so it could not appear as such,” said the witness, himself a former member of that unit. For over two years, the GPP continued to exist “unofficially,” according to him, hidden behind the “interface” of the union of self-defense movements, created in 2008.

The GPP re-mobilized as the 2010 … Continue Reading

Leave a comment

The GPP ‘Modus Operandi’ Under Very Close Scrutiny

Metche Metchro Moise Harold Fabrice continued to answer questions from the prosecution at the International Criminal Court (ICC). In the course questioning that appeared a little disjointed several topics and periods were addressed, from the information obtained by the Group of Patriots for Peace, to agoras and parliaments, to missions carried out upcountry in 2003 and 2004.

“Laying the foundation” before getting on to the post-election crisis was the strategy used by the Office of the Prosecutor, who questioned the witness on Wednesday, October, 19. Like the day before, the questions focused on various topics without following any chronological order. This could easily make one lose the thread of the discussion, according to the Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé defense … Continue Reading

Leave a comment

Bemba and Four Associates Convicted for Witness Tampering

Congolese opposition leader Jean-Pierre Bemba alongside four associates, who include two of his former defense lawyers, have been convicted in the witness bribery trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC). Their sentences will be announced at a later date.

Upon conviction for offenses against the administration of justice covered by Article 70 of the court’s Rome Statute, judges may impose a term of imprisonment not exceeding five years, a fine, or both. Today judges ordered that those convicted, besides Bemba, would remain on conditional release pending the determination of their penalties.

Bemba and his former lawyers Aimé Kilolo Musamba and Jean-Jacques Mangenda Kabongo were found guilty of corruptly influencing 14 witnesses – D-2, D-3, D-4, D-6, D-13, D-15, D-23, D-25, D-26, D-29, … Continue Reading

Leave a comment

Verdict to be Delivered Tomorrow in First ICC Witness Tampering Trial

Tomorrow, judges will deliver the judgment in the first witness corruption case handled by the International Criminal Court (ICC).  The verdict in the trial in which there are five accused individuals will be delivered in open court at 14:30 local time in The Hague.

The charges, under Article 70 of the Rome Statute, stem from the trial of former Congolese vice president, Jean-Pierre Bemba, over war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the Central African Republic (CAR). Tried alongside him for corrupting 14 witnesses who testified in the main trial were Bemba’s former defense team lead Aimé Kilolo Musamba, case manager Jean-Jacques Mangenda Kabongo, defense witness Narcisse Arido, and Congolese parliamentarian Fidèle Babala Wandu.

In confirming the charges against them, pre-trial judges … Continue Reading

Leave a comment

In the GPP “Betrayal Results in Blood-Spilling,” Says Witness

Today is the first day of questioning for Metche Metchro Moise Harold Fabrice. The witness responded to questions from the Office of the Prosecutor about the Group of Patriots for Peace (GPP), a paramilitary organization that he joined at its inception in 2002.

The genesis of the GPP, its transformation, organization, hierarchy, and links with the political power were the topics discussed by the witness on Tuesday, October 18. Questioned by the prosecution, Metche Metchro Moise Harold Fabrice first went back on the creation of the paramilitary group by Charles Groguhet in October 2002 following the attempted coup. The stated goal was “to deal with the rebellion and support the defense and security forces [FDS],” the witness explained.

According to him, recruitment … Continue Reading

Leave a comment

To Participate or Not? Getting Victim Participation Right in the Kwoyelo Case

Colonel Thomas Kwoyelo, a former commander of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) is currently on trial before the International Crimes Division (ICD) in Uganda. He is charged with committing war crimes and crimes against humanity during a two decades-long war that ravaged northern Uganda. In preparation for the main trial, the ICD has so far held three pre-trial hearings in April, August, and September 2016 respectively.

On September 23, 2016, the ICD issued a landmark ruling on victim participation, allowing victims to participate in the proceedings akin to their right of participation before the International Criminal Court (ICC). Due to its recently adopted Rules of Procedure, victims in proceedings before the ICD are entitled to a wider range of rights than in criminal proceedings … Continue Reading

1 Comment

Moise Metche Metchro Harold Fabrice is Invited to the ICC

The trial of Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé resumed on Monday, October 17, in The Hague. A new witness came to testify: Metche Metchro Moise Harold Fabrice, who was already a witness in the trial of Simone Gbagbo last July.

After a protracted closed-door session discussion about the witness’s safety, the trial chamber issued its decision late in the morning on Monday. The request to grant protective measures made by the prosecution and the witness himself was rejected. The reason was because the witness had already publicly testified at the trial of Simone Gbagbo, speaking also to the Ivorian press. His statements earned him “unpleasant comments on Facebook,” but “insults and threats” remained without consequence. Thus, nothing justified setting up … Continue Reading

Leave a comment

Reparations Plan for Lubanga Victims Takes Shape

The plan for making reparations to victims of Thomas Lubanga’s use of hundreds of child soldiers in armed conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo a decade and a half ago is nearing completion. The Trust Fund for Victims (TFV) will spend €1 million (US $1.1 million) over three years to support affected communities and individuals in eastern Congo.

However, the plan, which has taken four years to draw up, is not without challenges. The funds allocated for reparations are limited, and victims will not receive individual reparations, which many had expected. Moreover, continuing insecurity and the influence of Lubanga’s party in Ituri district could deter victims from participating in the reparations program.

These challenges were the focus of discussions when the … Continue Reading

Leave a comment

Ntaganda Trial Goes on Break After Testimony of Witness P792

Bosco Ntaganda’s trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) has begun a four-week break after Witness P792 concluded giving evidence. Most of Witness P792’s two-day testimony was heard in closed session.

In the brief moments of open court, the witness recounted an attack by Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC) militia on the Congolese town of Mongbwalu in November 2002, which forced “more than 10,000” residents, including himself, to flee to the bush. The witness stayed in the bush for three months until March 2003. When he returned, he learned that many people had been killed by the militia.

Witness P792 testified with protective measures, including the distortion of his voice and image during public re-transmissions of his testimony, and he gave most … Continue Reading

Leave a comment

Molina Theissen Case: Former Guatemalan Army Chief Testifies

Manuel Benedicto Lucas García, a former chief of the Guatemalan army, has now given his first statement before Judge Víctor Hugo Herrera Ríos of the High Risk Tribunal “C”, in proceedings for the illegal capture, detention and torture of Emma Guadalupe Molina Theissen and the enforced disappearance of her 14-year-old brother, Marco Antonio. Lucas García was head of the High Command of the Guatemalan Army (Estado Mayor del Ejército) between August 15, 1981 and March 22, 1982, when his brother, Romeo Lucas García, served as de facto president. Benedicto Lucas García is being charged as the intellectual author of the crimes committed against the Molina Theissen siblings. He was arrested on January 6 in relation to the CREOMPAZ case, and … Continue Reading

Leave a comment