International Justice Monitor

A project of the Open Society Justice Initiative

Kenyan Challenges ICC Arrest Warrant Against Him

Philip Kipkoech Bett, a Kenyan wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for alleged bribery, has challenged an ICC arrest warrant against him, arguing it lacks details of the evidence against him and infringes on his fair trial rights.

Anthony Kiprono, who represents Bett, told the Kenyan High Court on July 20, 2017 that an application by Kenya’s Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to execute the ICC arrest warrant against Bett is flawed because the DPP had not made an independent evaluation of the warrant and was simply asking the court to execute it on its face value.

Kiprono also argued before Judge Luka Kimaru that the allegations in the ICC arrest warrant pertain to offenses that can be tried in Kenya’s … Continue Reading

Leave a comment

Ugandan Court Fails to Hold Confirmation of Charges Hearing in Kwoyelo Case

A pre-trial hearing at the High Court of Uganda in the case of Colonel Thomas Kwoyelo did not occur as scheduled on July 18, 2017, reportedly because of a lack of funds. The hearing had been scheduled to confirm the charges against Kwoyelo, but it failed to take place when neither the judges, the prosecution, nor the defense lawyers showed up for the proceedings. This was meant to be the sixth pre-trial hearing of the case this year. The start date for the main trial remains uncertain given that the charges against Kwoyelo have not been confirmed.

Colonel Thomas Kwoyelo is a former commander in the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) who is facing charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity … Continue Reading

Leave a comment

Reactions from People in an Ituri Village to Bosco Ntaganda’s Trial

This article was prepared by our partner Radio Canal Révélation, a radio station based in Bunia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), as part of an interactive radio project on justice and peace which encourages a debate on issues related to justice in the DRC. The views conveyed in this article belong to the people interviewed and do not necessarily represent the views of all the community members, or those of the victims.

The inhabitants of Lopa, where Bosco Ntaganda made his headquarters in the Ituri province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), are calling for ICC investigations of and reparations for victims in the area. The crimes allegedly committed in Lopa are not the focus of the … Continue Reading

Leave a comment

Court Ratifies Historic Sepur Zarco Sexual Violence Judgment

The High Risk Appellate Court upheld the historic Sepur Zarco judgment this week after unanimously rejecting the three appeals presented by the defense counsel of the two military officials convicted last February in the case. The judges read the summary of the ruling in an open session on Wednesday afternoon.

High Risk Tribunal A, presided over by Judge Yassmín Barrios, handed down the judgment on February 26, 2016. The trial court found Lieutenant Colonel Esteelmer Reyes Girón, former commander of Sepur Zarco military base, and former military commissioner Heriberto Valdez Asig, guilty of all charges, sentencing them to 120 and 240 years respectively.

The court sentenced both officials to 30 years in prison for crimes against humanity against 14 women who were … Continue Reading

Leave a comment

Ntaganda’s Testimony Enters Fourth Week as Court Goes on Recess

On Friday, the testimony of former Congolese rebel commander Bosco Ntaganda at the International Criminal Court (ICC) entered its fourth week. It was also the last day of hearings before the court goes into summer recess.

On June 14, Ntaganda took the stand to testify in his defense at the ICC. He has since recounted his involvement in various rebel groups, which he said was motivated by the 1994 genocide in Rwanda and inspired by Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni. Ntaganda told judges that he left his post in Rwanda’s national army to participate in groups that were fighting to liberate the Democratic Republic of Congo from the dictatorship of Mobutu Sese Seko.

Ntaganda explained that the Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC), in … Continue Reading

Leave a comment

Le témoignage de M. Ntaganda entre dans sa quatrième semaine alors que les vacances de la Cour débutent

Vendredi, le témoignage de l’ancien commandant rebelle congolais Bosco Ntaganda devant la Cour pénale internationale (CPI) est entré dans sa quatrième semaine. Il s’agit également du dernier jour d’audiences avant que la Cour n’observe ses vacances d’été.

Le 14 juin, M. Ntaganda s’est présenté à la barre des témoins afin de témoigner pour sa propre défense devant la CPI. Il a depuis raconté son engagement dans plusieurs groupes rebelles qui, selon lui, était motivé par le génocide de 1994 qui a eu lieu au Rwanda et inspiré par le président ougandais Yoweri Museveni. M. Ntaganda a déclaré aux juges qu’il avait quitté le poste qu’il occupait dans l’armée nationale rwandaise afin d’intégrer les groupes qui se battaient pour libérer la République démocratique du Congo … Continue Reading

Leave a comment

To Detain or Not to Detain: A Human Rights Approach to Custody in Criminal Law

Earlier this week, the International Criminal Court (ICC) Appeals Chamber unanimously reversed a March 10, 2017 decision of Trial Chamber I on the detention of former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo. Although Gbagbo will remain in prison at the ICC detention facility, the Appeals Chamber has tasked the trial chamber with conducting a new review to decide if the former head of state’s continued detention is warranted.

Gbagbo, 72, is charged with crimes against humanity following post-election violence in 2010 and 2011, which allegedly led to the killing of around 3,000 people. He has been on trial at the ICC, alongside his former youth minister Charles Blé Goudé, since January 28, 2016.

Previously, Gbagbo’s defense had requested his urgent release in 2014 in … Continue Reading

Leave a comment

ICC Appeals Chamber Reverses Decision on Laurent Gbagbo’s Detention; Orders New Review

On Wednesday, July 19, the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) reversed Trial Chamber I’s ruling that former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo should remain in custody and ordered a new review in regards to whether he should be released. Gbagbo, who is 72 years old, has been in court custody since November 30, 2011 on four counts of crimes against humanity. He has sought interim release multiple times while in ICC custody, but the trial chamber has denied previous requests in part due to an alleged pro-Gbagbo movement that could help him escape, making him a flight risk.

The Impugned Decision

The trial chamber ruled in its March 2017 decision that circumstances had not changed enough to warrant Gbagbo’s … Continue Reading

Leave a comment

Réactions de la population d’une localité de l’Ituri sur le procès de Bosco Ntaganda

Cet article a été préparé par notre partenaire Radio Canal Révélation, une station radio basée à Bunia, en République démocratique du Congo (RDC), dans le cadre d’un projet de radio interactive pour la justice et la paix qui favorise la mise en débat des questions touchant à la justice en RDC. Les vues de la population relayées dans cet article sont celles des personnes interviewées et ne représentent pas forcément les vues de tous les membres de la communauté ni celles des victimes.

Les habitants de Lopa, quartier général de Bosco Ntaganda, dans la province de l’Ituri en République démocratique du Congo (RDC), réclament les enquêtes de la CPI et les réparations aux victimes des suites de sa présence dans leur … Continue Reading

Leave a comment

International Justice Day in Uganda Focuses on Ongwen’s Trial as Community Members Quiz ICC Officials at a Town Hall Meeting

July 17 is globally recognized as the “World Day for International Justice,” also referred to as the “Day of International Criminal Justice” or “International Justice Day.” The day is commemorated around the world as part of an effort to recognize the emerging system of international criminal justice and to mark the anniversary of the adoption of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Since the ICC intervened in the Ugandan situation 13 years ago, International Justice Day in Uganda has revolved around activities of the court.  With the trial of Dominic Ongwen currently ongoing before the ICC, it is not surprising that this year’s commemoration focused the Ongwen case.

Ongwen is charged with 70 counts of war crimes and crimes … Continue Reading

1 Comment