Captured former Commander of the Lords resistance Army [LRA] Dominic Ongwen will need to wait until August 28, this year when the International Criminal Court [ICC] convenes to hear the confirmation of his charges.
Ongwen was this afternoon making his maiden appearance at the international tribunal, to where he was referred, days after being captured by the US forces in the Central African Republic.
At the Pretrial session, in the court’s Chamber II, Judge Ekaterina Trendafilova set August 28 as the date for hearing Ongwen’s conformation of the charges.
This, the judge said was taking onto account Ongwen’s right to be tried without unnecessary delays.
She noted however that this date was only provisional and subject to revision, depending on the developments of the hearing.
“This date may be changed as provided for in the law upon request of either or both prosecution and defense,” she said.
Procession and Ongwen’s lawyers however, eventually consented to the date, as fair and sufficient.
Meanwhile Ongwen’s lead Counsel Mrs Helene Cisse asked that the court hastens translation of all documents and evidence in his local dialect Acholi, if possible with audio transcripts.
“Having stayed in the bush for almost the entire of his life, his English is only average. My client is willing to carefully examine all the files and evidence. He will prepare himself for the case after recieving these documents.
To this the judge Ekaterina Trendafilova said she would make a ruling as soon as possible
Ongwen is expected to answer to three counts of crimes against humanity (murder; enslavement; inhumane acts of inflicting serious bodily injury and suffering) and four counts of war crimes (murder; cruel treatment of civilians; intentionally directing an attack against a civilian population; pillaging) allegedly committed in 2004 within the context of the situation in Uganda.