International Justice Monitor

A project of the Open Society Justice Initiative

Voices from the Ground: Reactions from Ituri on Recent ICC Judgments

The below transcript is from a program on Radio Canal Révélation, a radio station based in Bunia, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which aired between March 6 and 11, 2015. The program is part of the radio station’s Interactive Radio for Justice and Peace Project, which promotes discussion on critical issues around justice in DRC. This transcript has been edited to remove non-relevant information.

In part one of the program International Criminal Court (ICC) officials take questions from listeners about the ongoing investigations and cases in the DRC. Part two of the program specifically addresses the recent ICC Appeals Chamber decision upholding the acquittal of Mathieu Ngdujolo Chui. 

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Part I

Presenter (Didyne Uweka): Welcome Radio Canal Révélation listeners to the fourth show in … Continue Reading

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Criminals or Victims? The Complexities of Addressing the Requests of ICC Witnesses for Asylum

Dear readers – please find below a commentary written by Olivia Bueno at the International Refugee Rights Initiative (IRRI) in consultation with Congolese activists. The views and opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of IRRI or of the Open Society Justice Initiative.

On June 27, a Dutch court refused the appeal of three former the International Criminal Court (ICC) witnesses, Floribert Ndjabu Ngabu, Sharif Manda Ndadza Dz’Na, and Pierre-Célestin Mbodina Iribi, for asylum in the Netherlands. The witnesses, who were previously in prison in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) before giving testimony at the ICC, had been held at the ICC detention center in The Hague prior to their June 2014 release into the custody … Continue Reading

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Reactions to the Sentencing of Germain Katanga: Some Comfort, Some Frustration

Dear readers – please find below a commentary written by Olivia Bueno at the International Refugee Rights Initiative (IRRI) in consultation with Congolese activists. The views and opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of IRRI or of the Open Society Justice Initiative.

On May 23, the International Criminal Court (ICC) handed down a 12-year prison sentence to the convicted Congolese militia leader Germain Katanga. Despite what was seen as a light sentence to some, it was not greeted with surprise in Ituri, the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) province where Katanga’s crimes took place. In the words of one local lawyer, “The acquittal of [Katanga’s former co-accused] Mathieu Ngudjolo and the changing of the mode … Continue Reading

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Statement from Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice on Katanga Sentencing Judgment

Dear Readers,

The following statement was posted May 23, 2014 on the website of Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice , an international women’s human rights organization that advocates for gender justice through the International Criminal Court (ICC) and works with women most affected by the conflict situations under investigation by the ICC. The views and opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Open Society Justice Initiative. To read the full version of the statement, click here.

Today, a majority of Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court (ICC) sentenced Germain Katanga (Katanga) to 12 years’ imprisonment, in the second sentencing judgement issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC). The Chamber also ordered that the six … Continue Reading

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ICC partially convicts Katanga in third Trial Judgment, acquitting Katanga of rape and sexual slavery

Dear Readers,

The following commentary first ran in the first Special Issue of Legal Eye on the ICC, a regular eLetter produced by the Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice, an international women’s human rights organization that advocates for gender justice through the International Criminal Court (ICC) and works with women most affected by the conflict situations under investigation by the ICC. The views and opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Open Society Justice Initiative. To read the full version of the Legal Eye eLetter, click here. To read the previous Special Issues, click here.  

On March 7, 2014, Trial Chamber II issued the ICC’s third Trial Judgment in the case of The Prosecutor v. Germain Katanga, convicting … Continue Reading

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In Ituri, Katanga Verdict Viewed as a Limited Success

Dear readers – please find below a commentary written by Olivia Bueno at the International Refugee Rights Initiative (IRRI) in consultation with Congolese activists. The views and opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of IRRI or of the Open Society Justice Initiative.

On Friday March 7, 2014, Trial Chamber II at the International Criminal Court (ICC) convicted, by a majority, Germain Katanga as an accessory to four war crimes (murder, attacking a civilian population, destruction of property, and pillaging) and one crime against humanity (murder). While some welcomed the verdict, reactions to the decision focused as much on what had not been done, as what had. In particular, questions were raised about the failure of the … Continue Reading

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Katanga Judgment Underlines Need for Stronger ICC Focus on Sexual Violence

NEW YORK—The International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague has just delivered its third judgment, finding Germain Katanga, a Congolese militia leader, guilty of promoting a brutal attack on civilians in eastern Congo in 2003.

For the often-criticized tribunal, the successful completion of another trial marks a welcome step forward, even if in this case, it is something of a partial victory. The trial has been troubled by questions of whether the ICC properly protected Katanga’s rights as a defendant – one of the three judges decided they had not. And the verdict itself is also troubling in another way.

While Katanga was found to be indirectly responsible for the massacre that occurred, he was acquitted of all responsibility for the vicious … Continue Reading

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Fundamental Fair Trial Questions Remain Unanswered Ahead of Tomorrow’s Judgment in the Katanga Case

Clair Duffy is a Senior Legal Advisor International Bar Association. The views expressed herein are the author’s own views and do not necessarily reflect those of the International Bar Association or of the Open Society Justice Initiative.

On Friday at 9:30am The Hague time, Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court[i] will deliver its judgment in the case against Germain Katanga (in the ICC situation country of Democratic Republic of the Congo). It will be the third trial judgment to be delivered by the ICC since the court’s inception – all of them so far concerning crimes committed in eastern DRC. The same trial chamber acquitted Katanga’s former co-accused, Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui, in December 2012, about one month after splitting … Continue Reading

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Waiting for Judgment: Communities in Ituri Await the Katanga Verdict with Impatience

Dear readers – please find below a commentary written by Olivia Bueno at the International Refugee Rights Initiative (IRRI) in consultation with Congolese activists.  The views and opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of IRRI or of the Open Society Justice Initiative.

The verdict in the case against Germain Katanga, the alleged commander of the Forces de Résistance Patriotique en Ituri (FRPI), for war crimes and crimes against humanity in relation to an attack on the village of Bogoro in Ituri, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is being awaited with impatience in Ituri. Having followed trials at the International Criminal Court (ICC) for years (the verdict against Katanga will be the third in cases relating … Continue Reading

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Prosecution appeals Trial Chamber II's judgement acquitting Ngudjolo

Dear Readers,

The following commentary first ran in the third Special Issue of Legal Eye on the ICC, a regular eLetter produced by the Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice, an international women’s human rights organization that advocates for gender justice through the International Criminal Court (ICC) and works with women most affected by the conflict situations under investigation by the ICC. The views and opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Open Society Justice Initiative. To read the full version of the Special Issue of the Legal Eye eLetter, including an article on Ngudjolo’s release from Schipol immigration detention center on May 4, 2013, click here. To read the previous Special Issues, click here.  

On December 18, 2012, … Continue Reading

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