International Justice Monitor

A project of the Open Society Justice Initiative

Just or Unjust? Mixed Reactions on Whether Ongwen Should be on Trial

As the trial of former Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) commander Dominic Ongwen continues before the International Criminal Court (ICC), people in northern Uganda are still divided on whether or not his trial is justified. In response to the question of whether they felt Ongwen’s trial was fair or not, Civil Society Organization (CSO) representatives responded in different ways, citing different reasons for their answers.

Ongwen is charged with 70 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly committed in attacks on camps for people displaced by the conflict in northern Uganda. The attacks took place between 2003 and 2004 in the camps of Pajule, Odek, Abok, and Lukodi. Ongwen has also been charged with sexual and gender-based crimes, including the … Continue Reading

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M. Ntaganda demande l’arrêt du procès après que l’accusation ait eu accès à des informations cruciales de la défense

Bosco Ntaganda, l’ancien commandant rebelle congolais jugé devant la Cour pénale internationale (CPI), a demandé aux juges d’arrêter le procès, affirmant que l’accusation avait détourné les procédures judiciaires lorsqu’elle avait eu accès de manière inopportune à des informations cruciales de la défense.

L’avocat de la défense Stéphane Bourgon a déclaré que lorsque le Bureau du Procureur (BdP) réalisait des enquêtes sur M. Ntaganda concernant la subornation présumée de témoins, il avait obtenu des centaines d’enregistrements de ses conversations, y compris celles échangées sur la stratégie de la défense et sa connaissance personnelle de l’affaire. Il a soutenu que cela représentait un abus des procédures de la Cour et, par conséquent, M. Ntaganda ne pouvait plus bénéficier d’un procès équitable. Il a suggéré qu’une … Continue Reading

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Witness Says Prosecution Never Followed Up on Sexual Crimes Allegations Made to Government Commissions

A senior prosecutor told Kenya’s High Court the Directorate of Public Prosecutions has never followed up on allegations of sexual crimes made to two government-appointed commissions that investigated the violence that followed the 2007 presidential election.

Jacinta Nyaboke Nyamosi told the court on Wednesday that as head of the Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Division at the directorate she had not asked the commissions that investigated the violence that occurred between December 2007 and February 2008 to share the complaints they received.

Nyamosi returned to court on Wednesday to continue testifying as a witness for one of the respondents to a petition by survivors of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) that occurred after the bloodshed that followed the 2007 poll. She began testifying … Continue Reading

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Can International Justice Survive in an Age of Renewed Nationalist Fervor?

In an opinion piece published on April 10, 2017, by World Politics Review, James A. Goldston, executive director of the Open Society Justice Initiative, argues that the international justice has become irrevocably embedded in global politics.  He writes:

“International justice has taken a reputational nosedive since the late 1990s, when the creation of the International Criminal Court signaled a new age of global accountability. Some of this has involved predictable pushback from political leaders who would rather not be called to account. But other complaints resonate more widely.

Some say that the ICC’s focus on Africa and its inability to address atrocities from North Korea to Syria reflect the double standards of global power, not the impartiality of law. The worldwide resurgence … Continue Reading

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Defense Lawyer Challenges Victim’s Account of Crimes Implicating Ntaganda

Defense lawyer Stéphane Bourgon has dismissed the evidence of a witness called by legal representatives of victims and accused him of making up stories against Congolese ex-militia leader Bosco Ntaganda at the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The lawyer’s assertions were made on Wednesday, in response to Witness V3’s testimony alleging that at the end of 2002, Ntaganda and his Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC) superior Floribert Kisembo visited his father’s home on three occasions to discuss alliance with the militia group. Upon refusal, Ntaganda purportedly led a group of soldiers who arrested and killed the witness’s father.

“On [the] basis of testimony heard and on the basis of information we obtained during our investigations, in addition to information coming from chief of … Continue Reading

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L’avocat de la défense remet en cause le récit des victimes sur les crimes impliquant M. Ntaganda

L’avocat de la défense Stéphane Bourgon a rejeté la déposition d’un témoin appelé par les représentants légaux des victimes et l’a accusé d’inventer des histoires au sujet de l’ancien chef de milice congolais Bosco Ntaganda devant la Cour pénale internationale (CPI).

Les allégations de l’avocat ont été faites vendredi, en réponse au témoignage du témoin V3 prétendant que, à la fin de 2002, M. Ntaganda et son supérieur au sein de l’Union des patriotes congolais (UPC), Floribert Kisembo, avaient visité la maison de son père à trois occasions pour discuter d’une alliance avec la milice. À la suite d’un refus, M. Ntaganda aurait dirigé un groupe de soldats qui avaient arrêté et tué le père du témoin.

« En se basant sur le témoignage entendu et … Continue Reading

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Le témoin : les combattants de M. Ntaganda m’ont violé et ont tué mon mari

Mardi, une femme congolaise, qui a été violée par les miliciens de l’Union des patriotes congolais (UPC) et dont le mari a été tué par d’autres miliciens, a raconté son calvaire aux juges de la Cour pénale internationale (CPI) jugeant Bosco Ntaganda.

Témoignant sous le pseudonyme de témoin V2, elle a raconté avoir été violée, fin 2002, lorsqu’elle fuyait des attaques de combattants de l’UPC sur la ville de Mongbwalu située dans l’est de la République démocratique du Congo. Ce témoin est une des trois victimes des crimes qui auraient été commis par M. Ntaganda et sa milice UPC et qui témoignent cette semaine dans le procès de l’ancien commandant rebelle à La Haye.

Le témoin a affirmé que, après avoir parcouru 10 kilomètres pour … Continue Reading

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Witness: Ntaganda’s Fighters Raped Me, Killed my Husband

On Tuesday, a Congolese woman, who was raped by Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC) militiamen and whose husband was killed by other militiamen, recounted her ordeal to International Criminal Court (ICC) judges trying Bosc0 Ntaganda.

Testifying under the pseudonym Witness V2, she testified how she was raped while fleeing from attacks by UPC fighters on the town of Mongbwalu in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo in late 2002. This witness is one of three victims of crimes alleged to have been committed by Ntaganda and his UPC militia who are testifying this week in trial of the former Congolese rebel commander in The Hague.

The witness stated that, after traveling 10 kilometers seeking refuge from fighting, she and her … Continue Reading

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Witness Says Ntaganda’s Soldiers Tortured Him, Killed Six Members of His Family

A victim of crimes allegedly committed by Bosco Ntaganda’s troops has narrated how Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC) fighters tortured him and killed six members of his family, including his wife.

Testifying in Swahili under the pseudonym Witness V1, he told International Criminal Court (ICC) judges on Monday that rebel troops also burned his three houses to the ground and stole his livestock and other household property.

He said his ordeal at the hands of the rebels started towards the end of 2002, when they arrested him and kept him at a prison in the village of Nizi. “They beat me severely before reaching Nizi, and when I reached there they beat me severely,” recalled the witness, who was previously known by … Continue Reading

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