The prosecution has disputed the account of a former fighter in Bosco Ntaganda’s Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC), who said members of the militia did not commit atrocities during attacks in 2002 on villages inhabited by members of the Lendu ethnic group.
During the cross-examination of Witness D017, trial lawyer Diane Luping read excerpts from three documents that detailed acts of rape, pillaging, and killings allegedly committed by UPC fighters in the localities of Zumbe and Kamande. The documents included a report by the former United Nations Mission in Congo (MONUC), which detailed the killing of 120 civilians in Zumbe by UPC fighters on October 15-16, 2002.
The UPC, in which Ntaganda was the deputy chief of staff, was predominately composed of … Continue Reading
After a five-week break, hearings in the trial of Bosco Ntaganda at the International Criminal Court (ICC) resumed on Monday with the testimony of the ninth defense witness – a former fighter in the Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC), the militia where the accused was a top commander. The defense case for Ntaganda, who denies 18 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, opened last June.
The former militiaman, who is testifying under the court-given pseudonym Witness D017, has been the subject of numerous submissions before the chamber. Due to undisclosed challenges, he was last month unable to appear before judges as planned. At the time, the defense said it was unable to finalize reviewing Witness D017’s evidence prior to … Continue Reading
Former Congolese rebel commander Bosco Ntaganda has reduced the number of witnesses he will call to testify at the International Criminal Court (ICC) from more than 100 to 40 following the weeks-long testimony he gave in his own defense. Before Ntaganda began his testimony, defense lawyers said they would make their case significantly shorter if the accused was allowed to testify for several weeks at the start of the defense case.
Following the completion of Ntaganda’s testimony at the end of last month, his lawyers filed an updated list that comprises 40 witnesses. Last week, the lawyers said they would no longer call one of those witnesses (D-214). Meanwhile, the defense asked judges to allow the addition of two individuals, Witness … Continue Reading
The trial of former Congolese rebel commander Bosco Ntaganda at the International Criminal Court (ICC) has stalled due to the unavailability of defense witnesses. At the end of Thursday’s hearing, Presiding Judge Robert Fremr announced that “it was not clear” whether proceedings in the trial would continue as scheduled following an email from the defense detailing challenges in getting witnesses to appear before the court.
According to the email, “due to events beyond its control,” the defense was unable to finalize review of evidence to be provided by an upcoming witness, referred to in court as Witness D-017. As such, the defense was not in a position to refer the witness to the court’s Victims and Witnesses Unit (VWU) on Friday, … Continue Reading
The trial of former Congolese militia commander Bosco Ntaganda at the International Criminal Court (ICC) is on a break until October 17, when judges will hear the evidence of the eighth defense witness.
The break came after the conclusion of the two-day testimony of the seventh witness called by Ntaganda’s lawyers. Testifying under the pseudonym Witness D-211, her evidence was heard via video link and entirely in closed session.
In an application to hear the testimony of Witness D-211 via video link, defense lawyers stated that the witness had expressed concerns that traveling to the seat of the court may expose her identity. While the scope of her testimony was redacted from the defense’s public filing, the document indicates that the witness … Continue Reading
Hearings in the trial of Bosco Ntaganda at the International Criminal Court (ICC) have mostly proceeded in closed session since the accused concluded giving evidence in his own defense. The testimony of three individuals who have testified after Ntaganda, all of them via video link, has mostly been heard in closed session.
On Monday, Witness D201, believed to be a former head teacher in a school in Congo’s Ituri district, testified about students’ school attendance patterns during ethnic conflict in the region in 2002 and 2003. It is unclear what school the witness worked at and how his testimony related to the charges against Ntaganda.
Earlier on Monday, Witness D057 also testified, predominantly in closed session. This individual also appears to have … Continue Reading
After several weeks on the witness stand, Bosco Ntaganda today concluded giving evidence in his own defense at the International Criminal Court (ICC). The concluding parts of his testimony focused on his communications from the court’s detention center, which the prosecution alleges he used to interfere with witnesses.
Asked by defense lawyer Stéphane Bourgon whether, through his communications, he asked anyone to “mislead” or “lie before the court,” Ntaganda replied, “Not at all. When I would speak to someone, often it was people I had contact with [before detention at the ICC]. I would say how ‘are things going?’ If it was someone who was with me [during the conflict], I would ask to be reminded of certain events,” stated Ntaganda.
He … Continue Reading
Bosco Ntaganda’s lawyers intend to reduce the number of witnesses they will call to testify for the former Congolese rebel commander at the International Criminal Court (ICC).
“We need to take full stock of Ntaganda’s testimony before we confirm to the chamber and come forward with a list of new witnesses,” lead defense lawyer Stéphane Bourgon said on Friday afternoon. The defense said it would provide the details of the witnesses to be dropped off its list, but that it was “likely they could be more than 11”.
Prior to the opening of the defense case last May, Bourgon indicated that they intended to call more than 100 witnesses to testify for Ntaganda, who is on trial at the ICC over crimes … Continue Reading
Former Congolese rebel commander Bosco Ntaganda has continued to deny the prosecution’s accusation that he killed priest Boniface Bwanalonga during an ethnic conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in 2002. Giving evidence in his own defense at the International Criminal Court (ICC), Ntaganda also denied giving orders to his troops to rape three nuns who were arrested together with Bwanalonga.
According to Ntaganda, the priest was arrested during field operations by fighters from the Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC) in the town of Mongbwalu. Three nuns in the priest’s company at the time of his arrest purportedly volunteered to escort him to the militia group’s camp. “They refused to leave the priest when he was arrested in the … Continue Reading
In his continuing testimony at the International Criminal Court (ICC), ex-militia leader Bosco Ntaganda stated that he enforced discipline in the Patriotic Forces for the Liberation of Congo (FPLC) and punished any fighter who attacked civilians.
“If any soldier had attacked the civilian population and such information was brought to my attention, such soldier would be punished,” said Ntaganda. He was responding to a question by a prosecuting lawyer Nicole Samson about the alleged attacks by FPLC militia on members of the Lendu ethnic group.
Asked by Samson whether he investigated any ethnically motivated attacks, Ntaganda stated that the FPLC provided protection to all ethnic groups in Congo’s Ituri district, and there were no campaigns against civilians of Lendu ethnicity.
“In my capacity … Continue Reading