Germain Katanga has dropped his appeal against the judgment and sentence rendered against him by a majority of Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court (ICC). In response, the prosecution dropped its appeal as well. Therefore, the trial chamber judgment and sentence are final.
Katanga is the former leader of an armed militia that became known as the Force de Résistance Patriotique en Ituri (FRPI, Patriotic Resistance Forces in Ituri). Trial Chamber II, by a majority, convicted Katanga of aiding and abetting war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the militia during a February 2003 attack on the village of Bogoro in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. The majority sentenced him to 12 years of imprisonment, to be reduced by the time he has been in detention during trial, approximately seven years.
Katanga had originally signaled his intent to appeal, saying that he would appeal the entire trial judgment. The prosecution also submitted its intent to appeal, specifically appealing Katanga’s acquittal for rape and sexual slavery as a crime against humanity and as a war crime.
However, today the defense discontinued its appeal. Katanga noted that he accepts the findings against him in the trial judgment. He expressed his sincere regrets to all of those who suffered because of his conduct, including victims of the attack on Bogoro.
His defense counsel noted that Katanga has been in detention since 2005, a situation that has been stressful for him and his family. According to his counsel, Katanga believes that ending the judicial process and providing a definitive solution to the case will serve the interests of justice.
The prosecution has followed suit, also indicating that it has discontinued its appeal. The prosecution noted Katanga’s acceptance of the trial chamber majority’s conclusions, as well as his statement of regret.
This means that the along with the trial chamber judgment and sentence being final, the reparations phase of the case can begin.
The ICC will now transfer Katanga to a country that has agreed to accept convicted persons within their prison systems. Once Katanga has served two-thirds of his sentence, the ICC will review his sentence to determine whether it should be reduced.