Crime & Investigation

ICC: Ntaganda Goes on Trial


viagra approved sans-serif; font-size: 10pt; line-height: 150%;”>The Pre-Trial Chamber II of the Hague-based court unanimously confirmed charges consisting in 18 counts of war crimes including murder and attempted murder; attacking civilians; rape; sexual slavery of civiliansa nd pillaging; displacement of civilians against Ntaganda.

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Others include attacking protected objects; destroying the enemy’s property; and rape, sexual slavery, enlistment and conscription of child soldiers under the age of fifteen years and using them to participate actively in hostilities and crimes against humanity (murder and attempted murder; rape; sexual slavery; persecution; forcible transfer of population).

Mr Ntaganda, former deputy chief of the staff of the Forces Patriotiques pour la Libération du Congo, was surrendered to the ICC custody on March 22, 2013 by the US embassy in Rwanda where he had sought sanctuary after his faction of fighters was defeated by Brig Sultani Makenga, the leader of then M23 Movement in Eastern Congo.

At that time, Ntaganda had planned to assassinate Makenga in a surprise attack on Rumangabo tactical base.

He had accused Makenga of betraying the M23 rebellion by succumbing to international pressure to pull his fighters from Goma which the rebels had captured with ease.

Makenga quickly mobilised his finest commanders and battle-hardened militants who defeated Ntaganda’s men in a bloody five-hour battle. Ntaganda and his men were pushed into Rwanda.

The confirmation of charges hearing was held from 10 to 14 February 2014. A total amount of approximately 69,000 pages of evidence was disclosed between the parties and submitted to the Chamber for its determination.

Based on the evidence submitted to its consideration, the Chamber found that there was a widespread and systematic attack against the civilian population pursuant to an organisational policy adopted by (UPC/FPLC) to attack civilians perceived to be non-Hema, such as those belonging to Lendu, Bira and Nande ethnic groups.

The attack took place between on or about 6 August 2002 and on or about 27 May 2003, in Ituri Province, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). In addition, the Chamber found that a non-international armed conflict between the UPC/FPLC and other organized armed groups took place between on or about 6 August 2002 and on or about 31 December 2003 in Ituri Province, DRC.

Ntaganda denies the charge.

The Chamber found that, as part of the widespread and systematic attack against the non-Hema civilian population and in the context of the non-international armed conflict, the crimes with which Bosco Ntaganda is charged were committed during two specific attacks, in addition to war crimes committed by the UPC/FPLC throughout the conflict.

These specific attacks were carried out in identified locations in Banyali-Kilo collectivité between on or about 20 November and on or about 6 December 2002 and in identified locations in Walendu-Djatsi collectivité between on or about 12 and on or about 27 February 2003.

As specified in the decision, the Chamber found that Bosco Ntaganda bears individual criminal responsibility pursuant to different modes of liability, namely: direct perpetration, indirect co-perpetration (article 25(3)(a) of the Statute); ordering, inducing (article 25(3)(b) of the Statute); any other contribution to the commission or attempted commission of crimes (article 25(3)(d) of the Statute); or as a military commander for crimes committed by his subordinates (article 28(a) of the Statute).

Subject to the right of the Prosecutor and the Defence to request leave to appeal pursuant to article 82(1)(d) of the Statute, the Presidency of the ICC will constitute a Trial Chamber in due course.


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