ICC Trial Chamber II to deliberate on the case against Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui
Posted by African Press International on May 25, 2012
Situation: The Democratic Republic of the Congo
Case: The Prosecutor v. Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui
The trial in the case The Prosecutor v. Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui has entered its final stages following closing statements that took place at the International Criminal Court (ICC) from 15 to 23 May 2012. During the closing statement hearings, the Prosecution, the legal representatives of victims and the Defence presented their final arguments. The ICC’s Trial Chamber II, comprising Judge Bruno Cotte (presiding judge), Judge Fatoumata Dembele Diarra and Judge Christine Van den Wyngaert will deliberate on the proceedings and, within a reasonable period, will pronounce its decision. The Chamber bases its decision only on the applicable law and on evidence submitted and discussed before it at the trial.
Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui, Congolese nationals, are charged with three counts of crimes against humanity and seven counts of war crimes allegedly committed in the context of an armed conflict in Ituri which began in Djugu territory and in the town of Mongbwalu, and in particular during the joint attack by combatants allegedly led by Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui and Germain Katanga on Bogoro village on 24 February 2003, which was allegedly part of a widespread attack directed not only against a military camp located in that village but also against the civilian population of the village. The trial started on 24 November 2009.
Over the course of 239 hearings, the Chamber heard 24 witnesses and experts called by the Office of the Prosecutor, 28 witnesses and experts called by the two Defence teams and 2 witnesses called by the legal representatives of the victims participating in the proceedings. The Chamber also called 2 other experts to testify. The judges ensured the respect of the rights guaranteed by the Rome Statute to each of the parties, including the right to cross-examine the witnesses.
A total of 366 victims, represented by their legal counsel, were authorised to participate in the trial. They have expressed their position on matters heard before the Chamber and were authorised to examine witnesses on specific issues.
The Trial Chamber issued 130 oral decisions, and 456 written decisions. The parties and participants before the Chamber exchanged more than 3,290 filings.