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Ntaganda Case Hearing Postponed To 2014

Ntaganda appears at ICC

physician healing http://colosseo.com.br/wp-content/plugins/jetpack/class.jetpack-bbpress-json-api-compat.php geneva;”>The Hague-based Court further established a calendar for the disclosure of evidence and related requests.

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case geneva;”>The confirmation of charges hearing was initially scheduled to open on September 26.


On May 23, the Office of the Prosecutor filed an urgent request to postpone the date of the confirmation hearing alleging that the case had been dormant for “several years” and stating the need for additional time to complete numerous necessary tasks before the confirmation of charges hearing, including ensuring the witnesses’ protection and disclosing the evidence to the Defence in an effective way.


According to a press statement issued on Tuesday by ICC, Judge Ekaterina Trendafilova, acting on behalf of the Chamber, held that in the circumstances of the present case, the Prosecutor’s request was justified and added that “where the suspect is evading justice for many years, it is neither possible nor reasonable to impose on the Prosecutor a permanent stand-by availability of the teams for years”.


Bosco Ntaganda, Congolese citizen, in March surrendered himself voluntarily to the US Embassy in Kigali, Rwanda which handed him to ICC.


He is now in the ICC’s custody.


The ICC issued two warrants of arrest for Bosco Ntaganda on August 22, 2006 and on July 13, 2012.


As the former alleged Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Forces Patriotiques pour la Libération du Congo [Patriotic Forces for the Liberation of Congo] (FPLC), Mr Ntaganda is suspected of seven counts of war crimes.


These include enlistment of children under the age of 15, conscription of children under the age of 15, using children under the age of 15 to participate actively in hostilities, murder, attacks against the civilian population, rape and sexual slavery, and pillaging.


The three counts of crimes against humanity are; murder, rape and sexual slavery, and persecution.


The crimes were allegedly committed in Ituri (Democratic Republic of the Congo) between September 2002 and the end of September 2003.


Arguments

The prosecutor said she need enough time for the protection of witnesses and victims who were previously interviewed, locating them, obtaining their consent to disclose their statements and conducting security assessments in coordination with the Victims and Witnesses Unit for the purposes of redactions or requests for protective measures.


She also needed to review all relevant materials in the Prosecutor’s possession which amount to 9,602 documents for the purposes of disclosure of incriminating and exculpatory evidence and compliance with her obligations and in particular those falling under article 67(2) of the Statute and rule 71 of the Rules.


The prosecutor also said she had to seek consent from information providers to lift restrictions on 3,000 documents obtained under article 54(3)(e) of the Statute for the purposes of disclosure; complying with the disclosure deadlines established by the Single Judge and preparing in-depth analysis charts to be presented with each disclosure, which is time-consuming and investigating incriminating and exonerating .


Prosecution would also need to provide Mr. Ntaganda with materials into Kinyarwanda, the language he fully understands and speaks.


The Defence put forward a number of arguments to rebut the Prosecutor’s justifications.


The judge said with respect to the related argument put forward by the Defence that Mr. Ntaganda “had been a general in the national army of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (FARDC) since early 2009, and participated in that capacity in joint peacekeeping operations with MONUC/MONUSCO”, he considers that the acknowledgment of such a role is irrelevant and does not deny the fact that there was a pending warrant of arrest against him since 2006, which was not executed for several years.

“The same holds true in relation to the Defence’s argument that Mr. Ntaganda never sought to “conceal his place of residence, which was known to the Prosecution,” the judge ruled.

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