International Justice Monitor

A project of the Open Society Justice Initiative

Libyan Commander, Wanted by the ICC, is Released the Day After His Surrender

Libyan army commander Mahmoud al-Werfalli, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC), was freed one day after reports of his alleged surrender to military police of the Libyan National Army (LNA) in eastern Libya. On February 8, a spokesperson from the LNA said in a television interview that the military police had released al-Werfalli on bail, adding that the LNA is not considering handing him over to the ICC at all.

Al-Werfalli is a commander of the Saiqa Brigade, a unit attached to the LNA that controls large parts of eastern Libya. He came into the spotlight after the ICC issued a warrant for his arrest in August 2017. The warrant accuses him of a having a direct role … Continue Reading

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Kenyan Judge Says ICC Erred in Issuing Arrest Warrant for Two Kenyans Wanted in Bribery Case

A Kenyan High Court judge has said a judge at the International Criminal Court (ICC) erred in issuing an arrest warrant for two Kenyans wanted by the ICC for offenses against the administration of justice. This decision was made in November 2017 but only recently published online.

Judge Luka Kimaru declined to issue an order to execute an ICC arrest warrant for Paul Gicheru, a lawyer, and Philip Kipkoech Bett, stating that the single judge of the ICC’s Pre-Trial Chamber II issued the warrant on “speculative” grounds.

The judge also censured the Cabinet Secretary for Interior, the Director of Public Prosecutions, and the Attorney General for seeking an order to execute the ICC arrest warrant instead of protecting the rights of Gicheru … Continue Reading

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Lawyers Want More Victims to Benefits from Lubanga Reparations

Lawyers representing victims in Thomas Lubanga’s case are planning to appeal against an order by International Criminal Court (ICC) judges that set the former Congolese rebel leader’s financial liability for reparations at US$ 10 million. The lawyers say judges excluded “a significant number” of victims who participated in the proceedings against Lubanga and whom the Trust Fund for Victims (TFV) had already designated as eligible for reparations.

Victims’ lawyers Luc Walleyn and Franck Mulenda argue that, in the December 15, 2017 decision, the judges not only determined the overall size of the reparations award against Lubanga, but also determined which victims would be eligible for the collective reparations that the Trust Fund would implement.

“The decision specifies that the 425 victims who … Continue Reading

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Gbabgo’s Defense Lawyer Requests 6 Months Before Presenting His Witnesses

The question on the appearance of defense witnesses at the International Criminal Court (ICC) is still at the center of the debate in The Hague. In a request lodged before the judges, Emmanuel Altit, Laurent Gbagbo’s lawyer, spoke about the question.

Laurent Gbagbo’s senior attorney, Emmanuel Altit, wishes to see prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s latest request rejected. In fact, in a document filed before the judges, the Gambian jurist expressed the wish to see the defense communicate on its means at the latest by the end of February.

In a response to the prosecution’s request, filed on February 16, the leader of the defense team of the former Ivorian president said the defense needed six months to complete its investigations. According to Altit, … Continue Reading

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Les témoins de M. Ntaganda concluent leurs témoignages devant la CPI

Les avocats de Bosco Ntaganda ont conclu leur présentation des témoignages oraux dans le procès de l’ancien commandant rebelle congolais. Ils continuent toutefois à présenter les moyens de la défense, notamment des preuves documentaires et des dépositions de témoins antérieurement enregistrées.

Selon les avocats de la défense, leur plaidoyer a été considérablement réduit après que les juges aient autorisé M. Ntaganda à témoigner au début de la présentation des moyens de la défense, rendant ainsi superflu le fait d’appeler certains des témoins qui avaient été précédemment prévus. Après la conclusion du témoignage de M. Ntaganda, les avocats de la défense ont diminué fortement le nombre de leurs témoins à 40, soit près du tiers des 111 témoins qu’ils avaient indiqué avoir l’intention d’appeler en … Continue Reading

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Ntaganda’s Witnesses Complete Testifying at the ICC

Lawyers for Bosco Ntaganda have completed oral presentation of evidence in the former Congolese rebel commander’s trial. However, they are continuing to present the defense case, including through documentary evidence and the previously recorded testimony of witnesses.

According to defense lawyers, their case was significantly cut short once judges allowed Ntaganda to testify at the start of the defense case, as that made it unnecessary to call some of the witnesses that had earlier been lined up. Following the completion of Ntaganda’s testimony, the defense slashed the number of its witnesses to 40 – nearly a third of the 111 witnesses whom they had indicated that they intended to call back in May 2017.

Ntaganda, who has been on trial at the … Continue Reading

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Bensouda Ready to Requalify Charges Against Gbagbo According to Mediapart

Several weeks after the suspension of the trial of Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé at the International Criminal Court (ICC), Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda is reportedly ready to requalify the charges against the former Ivorian president.

Detained at the International Criminal Court (ICC) for nearly seven years, former Ivorian president Laurent Gbagbo, who is being prosecuted on four counts of crimes against humanity, could see the horizon look brighter.

The generally well-informed French website Mediapart wrote in an article posted online on February 15, 2018 that Fatou Bensouda, the ICC prosecutor, might support a requalification of charges in this case.

“The trial of the former Ivorian president and his former minister Charles Blé Goudé before the International Criminal Court is entering a decisive … Continue Reading

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Witness Says He was Under Ongwen’s Command, Defense Doubts It

A former fighter with the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) told the International Criminal Court (ICC) about his abduction 15 years ago and his role in an attack on the Pajule camp for internally displaced people (IDP).

Witness P-307 also told the court what he did as an escort in the LRA for the approximately two years he was with the group. Krispus Ayena Odongo, the lead lawyer for Dominic Ongwen, challenged Witness P-307’s testimony that he was a member of a group under the command of Ongwen.

Ongwen is on trial at the ICC for crimes he is alleged to have committed while he was a commander in the LRA’s Sinia brigade between July 2002 and December 2005. He has been charged … Continue Reading

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Witness Sobs as He Testifies About LRA Attack on Odek

A former fighter for the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) told the International Criminal Court (ICC) about two attacks on camps for internally displaced people (IDP) 13 years ago, at times sobbing as he described his role in the attacks on Odek and Lukodi.

Witness P-410 also told the court on Wednesday, January 31, about how he tried to save the lives of a family during the Lukodi attack in 2004, but another LRA fighter later locked them in their home and burned them alive.

The witness testified between Wednesday, January 31, and Thursday, February 1, during the trial of Dominic Ongwen, a former LRA commander. Witness P-410 said he was abducted when he was 14 years old and spent his time with … Continue Reading

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Fatou Bensouda Has One Month to Justify Charges Against Gbagbo

In a decision published on February 9, 2018, the trial chamber in charge of the Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé case invited International Criminal Court prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to produce a brief on the link between the testimonies and the charges against the two accused.

Nearly a month after hearing the last witness on her list, International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Fatou Bensouda will have to submit a brief to the judges. This was decided by the judges of Trial Chamber I.

In a nine-page order published in English on the court’s website, the judges invited the Gambian prosecutor to establish the link between the testimonies and the charges against Laurent Gbagbo and his former Youth Minister, Charles Blé Goudé.

“[T]he … Continue Reading

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