International Justice Monitor

A project of the Open Society Justice Initiative

Katanga Loses Appeal Against US$1 Million Reparations Order

International Criminal Court (ICC) appeals judges have confirmed the reparations order issued last year against former Congolese rebel leader Germain Katanga, including the US$1 million that he was ordered to pay to victims of his crimes.

Also in the ruling delivered on March 8, appeals judges directed the trial chamber that issued the reparations order to freshly assess five applications for reparations that they disallowed. Trial judges earlier concluded that they were unable to determine a causal nexus between the trauma suffered by the five applicants and the attack in 2003 on the Congolese town of Bogoro over which Katanga was convicted.

The five victims were born after the Bogoro attack, but they applied for reparations claiming “transgenerational harm” passed on to … Continue Reading

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Defense Lawyers Ask ICC Appeals Judges to Reduce Katanga’s Financial Liability in Reparations

Lawyers for former Congolese militia leader Germain Katanga have petitioned International Criminal Court (ICC) appeals judges to reduce the US$1 million order of reparations the former militia commander received earlier this year. They claim Katanga lacks the ability to pay and that the amount does not fairly reflect the role he played in the crimes for which he was convicted.

Katanga, a former leader of an armed militia that became known as the Force de Résistance Patriotique en Ituri (Patriotic Resistance Forces in Ituri), was convicted in March 2014 of being an accessory to war crimes and crimes against humanity stemming from a February 2003 attack on civilians in Bogoro village in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He was sentenced to … Continue Reading

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Trust Fund Unveils Reparations Plan for Katanga Victims

The International Criminal Court’s (ICC’s) Trust Fund for Victims (TFV) has published a plan for implementing reparation awards to 297 victims of crimes committed by former Congolese militia leader German Katanga. According to an order by ICC judges, each victim will receive an individual symbolic compensation of US$250, while housing and educational assistance, income-generating activities, and psychological rehabilitation will form the collective reparations.

In March 2014, Katanga was found guilty of being an accessory to war crimes and crimes against humanity stemming from a February 2003 attack on civilians in Bogoro, a village in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). In May of that year, he was sentenced to 12 years in jail. Last March, judges issued an order for reparations … Continue Reading

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ICC Issues Order for Reparations to Victims of Crimes Committed by Former Congolese Militia Leader

In a hearing this morning, International Criminal Court (ICC) judges read a decision awarding 297 victims of crimes committed by former Congolese militia leader Germain Katanga a symbolic compensation of USD 250 per victim. Victims were also awarded collective reparations in the form of support for housing, support for income-generating activities, education aid, and psychological support. In reaching their decision, judges took into account the needs of all victims and consultations undertaken with them and sought to ensure their safety, physical, and psychological well‑being and privacy.

This is significant because it is only the second time in the court’s history that an award for reparations has been ordered, and it is the first time that the court has awarded reparations to … Continue Reading

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La CPI a émis une ordonnance de réparation pour les victimes des crimes commis par l’ancien chef de milice congolais

À l’audience de ce matin, les juges de la Cour pénale internationale (CPI) ont lu une décision accordant à 297 victimes des crimes commis par l’ancien chef de milice congolais Germain Katanga une compensation symbolique de 250 USD par victime. Les victimes se sont vus également accorder des réparations collectives sous la forme d’aides au logement, d’aides pour les activités génératrices de revenus, d’aides à l’éducation ainsi que sous la forme d’un soutien psychologique. En prenant leur décision, les juges ont tenu compte des besoins de toutes les victimes et des consultations menées auprès d’elles tout en cherchant à garantir leur sécurité, leur bien-être physique et psychologique‑ainsi que leur vie privée.

Cet élément a son importance car il s’agit seulement de la seconde … Continue Reading

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National Prosecution of Katanga Can Proceed, Says ICC Presidency

On April 7, 2016, the Presidency of the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued a decision approving the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC’s) request to prosecute Germain Katanga before the High Military Court in Kinshasa for war crimes and crimes against humanity. The Presidency concluded that the proposed domestic prosecution did not “undermine fundamental principles or procedures of the Rome Statute or otherwise affect the integrity of the Court.”

This decision is important because it is the first time the ICC has interpreted Article 108 of the Rome Statute. Article 108 requires a country that has custody of a sentenced person to seek approval from the court if it intends to prosecute that person for “any conduct engaged in prior to that … Continue Reading

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Germain Katanga Granted Early Release

On November 13, a panel of three appeals judges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) decided to reduce Germain Katanga’s sentence. He will be released from the ICC detention center on January 18, 2016.

In March 2014, Trial Chamber II of the ICC convicted Katanga for crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in Bogoro, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in 2003. He was sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment. Katanga decided not to appeal his judgment, accepting the ICC’s verdict and sentence. As of September 18, 2015, he had served two-thirds of his sentence, prompting a judicial review of his remaining term.

There are seven factors the judges had to consider under Article 110 of the Rome Statute and Rule 223 … Continue Reading

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Germain Katanga Granted Early Release

On November 13, a panel of three appeals judges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) decided to reduce Germain Katanga’s sentence. He will be released from the ICC detention center on January 18, 2016.

In March 2014, Trial Chamber II of the ICC convicted Katanga for crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in Bogoro, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in 2003. He was sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment. Katanga decided not to appeal his judgment, accepting the ICC’s verdict and sentence. As of September 18, 2015, he had served two-thirds of his sentence, prompting a judicial review of his remaining term.

There are seven factors the judges had to consider under Article 110 of the Rome Statute and Rule 223 … Continue Reading

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Prosecution Does Not Oppose Katanga’s Release

On Oct. 6, a panel of three appeals chamber judges from the International Criminal Court (ICC) heard submissions on whether Germain Katanga should be released early from imprisonment.

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). In March 2014, Katanga was convicted for aiding and abetting war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during a February 2003 attack on Bogoro in in the Ituri region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). He was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment in May 2014.

Although he was sentenced just over a year ago, Katanga has already served two-thirds of his sentence, having been in detention … Continue Reading

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ICC Judges to Consider Katanga’s Early Release

Next week, a panel of three appeals chamber judges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) will hear arguments about the early release of Germain Katanga. In March 2014, Trial Chamber II of the ICC convicted Katanga for crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in Bogoro, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in 2003. He was sentenced to ­12 years’ imprisonment. Katanga decided not to appeal his judgment, accepting the ICC’s verdict and sentence.

As of September 18, 2015, Katanga had served two-thirds of his sentence. He was arrested and detained in the DRC in February 2005 before being transferred to the ICC in 2007. He has been in the ICC detention center for eight years, most of that time awaiting … Continue Reading

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