International Justice Monitor

A project of the Open Society Justice Initiative

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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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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No Further Defense Investigations, Trial Chamber Moving Forward in Katanga

The trial of Germain Katanga seems to be moving forward after a stall of nearly one year. Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has asked Katanga’s defense team to submit observations on a new mode of liability based on the current facts of the case. It seems that the chamber will then move ahead in deliberations for a final judgment. It thus appears that the case will not be re-opened, and there will not be any additional testimony.

Katanga is being tried by the ICC for alleged crimes against humanity and war crimes committed during an attack on Bogoro, a village in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). In late 2012—after both parties had rested their cases—the … Continue Reading

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ICC Cannot Decide on Witnesses Release, Trial Chamber Majority Finds

A majority of judges in Trial Chamber II at the International Criminal Court (ICC) have decided that they do not have the authority to release three witnesses who have been detained at the ICC Detention Center since early 2011. Judge Christine Van den Wyngaert dissented, arguing that the ICC is violating the witnesses’ rights and that they should be released immediately.

The witnesses were called to testify for Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo, who have been accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Bogoro, a village in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). In December 2012, Ngudjolo was acquitted of all charges, and he awaits the appeal judgment in his case. Germain Katanga is still on trial, … Continue Reading

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Trial Chamber’s Reasoning in Ngudjolo is Flawed and Unrealistic, Prosecution Claims

Trial Chamber II at the International Criminal Court (ICC) applied an impossible standard when it acquitted Mathieu Ngudjolo, the prosecution has argued on appeal. Challenging the trial chamber’s acquittal of Ngudjolo of charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity, the prosecution raised three grounds of appeal:

The Trial Chamber erred in law in its application of the standard of finding “guilt beyond a reasonable doubt” found in Article 66(3) of the Rome Statute;
The Trial Chamber erred in law in applying Article 74(2) because it did not consider all of the evidence and facts in making its decision; and
The Trial Chamber made a procedural error and misapplied Article 64(2), which provides that “the Trial Chamber shall ensure that a trial is … Continue Reading

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