International Justice Monitor

A project of the Open Society Justice Initiative

Witnesses Released from ICC Detention

Three ICC witnesses who testified on behalf of Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui and Germain Katanga were released today from the ICC detention center into the custody of Dutch officials. The witnesses will be in Dutch custody pending the outcome of their asylum applications in the Netherlands.

The three witnesses, Floribert Ndjabu Ngabu, Sharif Manda Ndadza Dz’Na, and Pierre-Célestin Mbodina Iribi, had been detained in the DRC before they were transferred to the ICC detention center to testify for the defense of Katanga and Ngudjolo in May 2011. During their testimony, they claimed that the president of the DRC, Joseph Kabila, was responsible for crimes committed in the country’s Ituri district. For this, the witnesses claimed they would be subject to human rights … Continue Reading

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Germain Katanga Sentenced to 12 Years Imprisonment

Today, a majority of Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court (ICC) sentenced Germain Katanga to 12 years imprisonment for aiding and abetting war crimes and crimes against humanity. His sentence will be reduced by the time he has already served during the trial, approximately seven years. Judge Christine van den Wyngaert dissented.

This is the second sentence handed down by the ICC. The first was for Thomas Lubanga, leader of the Union of Congolese Patriotics (UPC), who was sentenced in 2012 to 14 years of imprisonment for the use of child soldiers.

Germain 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). He … Continue Reading

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Prosecution Seeks 22 – 25 Years for Katanga

This week, Trial Chamber II at the International Criminal Court (ICC) heard arguments about an appropriate sentence following Germain Katanga’s conviction for war crimes and crimes against humanity in March. Three witnesses were called, and the parties and legal representative for victims presented their arguments.

The judges will issue the sentence on May 23, 2014 at 9:30 a.m.

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). He was charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during a February 2003 attack on Bogoro in the Ituri region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

The attack targeted a rival militia, the Union of Congolese … Continue Reading

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Germain Katanga found Guilty by the ICC

Today, Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court (ICC) convicted Germain Katanga in the ICC’s third trial judgment.

Germain 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). He was charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during an attack on Bogoro in the Ituri region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

The attack targeted a rival militia, the Union of Congolese Patriotics (UPC), as well as the predominantly Hema civilian population living in Bogoro. Ngiti soldiers—some of them children—descended on the village while most villagers were still sleeping. They proceeded to kill, rape, burn, and pillage, the chamber found. … Continue Reading

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Germain Katanga Judgment Scheduled for March 7

The International Criminal Court’s Trial Chamber II has rescheduled its  judgment in the case The Prosecutor v. Germain Katanga to Friday, March 7, 2014, at 9:30 (The Hague local time). The original date of February 7, 2014 was changed as one of the judges was  unavailable for health reasons.

For background on the trial, the Open Society Justice Initiative has produced a 2-page fact sheet and a more in depth 15-page briefing paper.

Katanga, alleged commander of the Force de résistance patriotique en
Ituri [Patriotic Resistance Force in Ituri] (FRPI) is accused of three
counts of crimes against humanity (murder, rape, and sexual slavery) and seven counts of war crimes (using children under the age of 15 to take active part in the hostilities; directing an … Continue Reading

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Appeals Chamber Majority Orders Witnesses back to DRC

A majority of the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Judge Sang-Hyun Song dissenting, has ordered three detained witnesses to be returned immediately to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The witnesses have been detained at the ICC Detention Center since they arrived in The Hague in March 2011 to testify in the trial of Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui.

Katanga and Ngudjolo are accused of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity in Bogoro, a village in the DRC. In December 2012, after the cases were severed, Ngudjolo was acquitted of all charges; he awaits the appeal judgment in his case. Germain Katanga is still on trial, awaiting final judgment.

Before coming to testify, the witnesses had been … Continue Reading

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Defense Requests Stay of Proceedings

The defense for Germain Katanga has requested Trial Chamber II at the International Criminal Court (ICC) to issue a permanent stay of proceedings, just two months before Katanga is due to hear the trial chamber’s judgment in his case.

Background

The prosecutor originally charged Katanga and his then co-accused Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui with crimes against humanity and war crimes allegedly committed during an attack on Bogoro, a village in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). They were accused under Article 25(3)(a) of having committed the crimes through “indirect co-perpetration,” where Katanga and Ngudjolo allegedly used hierarchical organizations (the Ituri Patriotic Resistance Force (FRPI) and the Nationalist and Integrationist Front (FNI), respectively) to carry out the crimes according to Katanga and Ngudjolo’s … Continue Reading

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Katanga Trial Judgment Scheduled for February 2014

The judges in Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court (ICC) have set a date for the trial judgment in the case against Germain Katanga. The final judgment will be delivered on February 7, 2014 at 9:30 a.m. at the ICC in The Hague.

The prosecutor originally charged Katanga and his then co-accused Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui with crimes against humanity and war crimes allegedly committed during an attack on Bogoro, a village in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). They were accused under Article 25(3)(a) of having committed the crimes through “indirect co-perpetration,” where Katanga and Ngudjolo allegedly used hierarchical organizations (the Ituri Patriotic Resistance Force (FRPI) and the Nationalist and Integrationist Front (FNI), respectively) to carry out the … Continue Reading

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Prosecution Argues Witnesses have No Basis for Appeal

Three witnesses, who had been in detention in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), were transferred to the International Criminal Court (ICC) Detention Center so they could testify in the trial against Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo in March 2011. They have requested Trial Chamber II of the ICC to order their immediate release. The trial chamber found it did not have the competence to make such a decision; the witnesses appealed. The ICC Prosecutor has argued that the appeal is inadmissible.

Katanga and Ngudjolo are accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly committed during an attack on Bogoro, a village in eastern DRC. Ngudjolo was acquitted in late 2012 and awaits an appeal judgment, and Katanga’s trial … Continue Reading

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Defense Observations on Article 25(3)(d)

The defense for Germain Katanga has submitted observations on a potential change in the mode of liability in his case. It is unclear whether this will be the final argument presented on this issue, with the trial chamber moving directly to deliberations and a final judgment, or whether litigation will continue.

The issue has sparked intense controversy and litigation that has spanned nearly one year. The prosecutor originally charged Katanga and his co-accused Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui with crimes against humanity and war crimes allegedly committed during an attack on Bogoro, a village in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). They were accused under Article 25(3)(a) of having committed the crimes through “indirect co-perpetration,” where Katanga and Ngudjolo allegedly used hierarchical … Continue Reading

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