International Justice Monitor

A project of the Open Society Justice Initiative

Judges to Pronounce Lubanga’s Financial Liability for Reparations

This Friday, International Criminal Court (ICC) judges will declare the financial liability that former Congolese rebel leader Thomas Lubanga will bear in reparation to victims of his crimes. In the only case at the court in which judges have made such a ruling, they determined that former militia leader Germain Katanga – also Congolese – bears a financial liability of US$ 1 million.

Lubanga, the first person tried by the ICC, was convicted in March 2012 of the war crimes of conscripting and enlisting children under the age of 15 years and using them in armed conflict in Congo’s Ituri district during 2002 and 2003, and he was handed a 14-year prison term. In December 2014, the ICC Appeals Chamber, by … Continue Reading

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Witness Gives Details of Uganda Police Intercept Operation

A witness told the International Criminal Court (ICC) that the Uganda Police Force ran its own operation to eavesdrop on radio communication between various commanders of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) that was independent of similar operations by other security agencies.

Patrick Lumumba Nyero told the court that he began intercepting LRA radio communication for the police in 2003 and continued to do so for three years until he was unable to hear LRA commanders communicate. He said during the three years he eavesdropped on LRA commanders he was able to hear them as far away as Sudan while he was at his post in northern Uganda.

Nyero testified about the Uganda Police Force intercept operation between November 22 and November 23 … Continue Reading

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Uganda’s Ambiguous Relationship with the ICC Amidst Ongwen’s Trial

Uganda’s relationship with the International Criminal Court (ICC) could be described as ambiguous given a series of recent disturbing incidents. Key among them is the tenacity to twice host Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir despite being a state signatory to the Rome Statute of the ICC, and, moreover, amidst an ongoing trial of a former Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) commander from Uganda.

The Sudanese president has two outstanding arrest warrants issued by the ICC in 2009 and 2010 on charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide allegedly committed in Darfur, Sudan, where it is estimated that around 300,000 people were killed and over two million were forced to leave their homes between 2003 and 2008. However, the Sudanese president has … Continue Reading

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Le dernier témoin du procès Ntaganda se concentre sur sur le viol présumé d’enfants soldats

Le viol présumé d’enfants soldats dans la milice congolaise a été au cœur du témoignage apporté jeudi par un témoin appelé par les avocats de l’ancien chef rebelle Bosco Ntaganda. M. Ntaganda, qui est jugé devant la Cour pénale internationale (CPI) depuis septembre 2015, est accusé de 18 chefs de crimes de guerre et de crimes contre l’humanité, notamment de viol et d’abus sexuel d’enfants soldats.

Le témoin D215, qui a servi dans le groupe rebelle appelé l’Union des patriotes congolais (UPC), a remis en cause le récit d’un témoin de l’accusation dénommé témoin P10, un ancien enfant soldat présumé de l’UPC, qui a déclaré qu’il y avait des abus sexuels au sein de l’UPC. Elle a témoigné en majeure partie à huis clos.

Selon la défense, … Continue Reading

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Alleged Rape of Child Soldiers the Focus of Ntaganda’s Latest Witness

The alleged rape of child soldiers in a Congolese militia was the focus of Thursday’s testimony by a witness called by lawyers for former rebel leader Bosco Ntaganda. Ntaganda, who has been on trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) since September 2015, is charged with 18 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including the rape and sexual abuse of child soldiers.

Witness D215, who served with the Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC) rebel group, disputed the account of a prosecution witness known as Witness P10, an alleged former UPC child soldier, who said there was sexual abuse within the UPC. She testified largely in closed session.

According to the defense, the testimony of Witness D215 – a female fighter … Continue Reading

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Witness Gives Details of Ugandan Military Operation to Intercept LRA Radio Communications

A member of Uganda’s military told the International Criminal Court (ICC) about his work in four towns in northern and eastern Uganda intercepting radio communications between commanders of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).

Witness P-339 told the court that he intercepted LRA radio communications for 16 years during which time he was based in Gulu, Acol Pii, Lira or Soroti. He said he was part of the interception operation of the Uganda People’s Defense Force (UPDF), and he also trained other members of the UPDF to intercept LRA radio communications.

The witness testified on November 21 and November 22 during the trial of Dominic Ongwen, a former LRA commander, about his interception work with the UPDF. Ongwen has been charged with 70 … Continue Reading

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Proceedings Suspended Until 2018

The hearings in the trial of Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé have been suspended until next January. The proceedings that took place on Thursday, December 7, in The Hague were the last ones for the year 2017.

Charged with crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court (ICC), Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé will no longer attend the hearing rooms of the international judicial body in 2017.

In fact, the hearing held on Thursday, December 7, was the last of the year 2017. At the end of discussions with Professor Frédéric Blonbled, an expert in forensic science, Presiding Judge Cuno Tarfusser announced the suspension of the trial.

“So what do I have to do now? Well, adjourn. We shall resume on … Continue Reading

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Witness Tells Court He Heard a lot of Gunfire, Saw Houses Burning During Abok Attack

A witness told the International Criminal Court (ICC) that when the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) attacked the Abok camp for internally displaced (IDP) people 13 years ago, he heard a lot of gunfire and saw houses burning.

Charles Amodo told the court that the LRA abducted him for one day after the Abok attack, and during this time he carried goods for them and walked a long distance barefoot with short periods of rest.

Amodo testified on November 20 during the trial of Dominic Ongwen, a former LRA commander. Ongwen has been charged with 13 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity for his alleged role in the attack on the Abok IDP camp.

Ongwen faces more counts for his alleged role … Continue Reading

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A Forensic Expert Before ICC Judges

A forensic expert of Belgian origin, Professor Blombé Frédéric testified on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 before the judges in the Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Forensic medical professor, Blombé Frédéric, a national of Belgium, was called to the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Wednesday, December 6, in the Gbagbo and Blé Goudé trial.

To the various parties, Professsor Blombé gave details of his action in Côte d’Ivoire where he was sent in September 2013 at the request of the Office of the Prosecutor. At the time, the expert’s task was to examine certain people presented as victims of post-election violence. This was an integral part of the investigations conducted by Fatou Bensouda’s teams.

In Judge … Continue Reading

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Q&A with Former LRA Abductee who Served Under Dominic Ongwen

This article presents an abridged version of an interview conducted with a former Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) abductee who served under Dominic Ongwen for one year. Omara (not real name) was abducted in 1997 when he was a 14-year-old pupil at Pader Kilak Primary School in Pader District, northern Uganda. The LRA took him to South Sudan, and shortly after arriving, he was assigned to serve under Ongwen’s command. When Ongwen’s bodyguard was killed in a helicopter gunship attack, Omara was asked to carry the dead man’s gun. He finally escaped the LRA in 1998 and returned home where he was reunited with family.

Ongwen, a former LRA commander, is currently on trial before the International Criminal Court (ICC). … Continue Reading

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