The trial in the case The Prosecutor v. Bosco Ntaganda has entered its final stages following closing statements that took place at the International Criminal Court (ICC) from 28 to 30 August 2018.
During the closing statement hearings, the Prosecution, the legal representatives of victims and the Defence presented their final arguments. The ICC’s Trial Chamber VI, comprising Judge Robert Fremr, Presiding Judge, Judge Chang-ho Chung and Judge Kuniko Ozaki 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.
Bosco Ntaganda, former alleged Deputy Chief of Staff of Patriotic Force for the Liberation of Congo (FPLC), is accused of 13 counts of war crimes (murder and attempted murder; attacking civilians; rape; sexual slavery of civilians; pillaging; displacement of civilians; attacking protected objects; destroying the adversary’s property; and rape, sexual slavery, enlistment and conscription of children under the age of fifteen years and using them to participate actively in hostilities) and five crimes against humanity (murder and attempted murder; rape; sexual slavery; persecution; forcible transfer of population) allegedly committed in Ituri, DRC, in 2002-2003.
His trial opened on 2 September 2015. Mr Ntaganda is in the Court’s custody.
Over the course of 248 hearings, the Chamber heard 80 witnesses and experts called by the Office of the ICC Prosecutor, Ms Fatou Bensouda, 19 witnesses called by the Defence team lead by Mr Stéphane Bourgon and three witnesses called by the legal representatives of the victims participating in the proceedings, as well as five victims who presented their views and concerns.
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 2,123 victims, represented by their legal counsel, Ms Sarah Pellet and Mr Dmytro Suprun from the ICC Office for Public Counsel for the Victims, are participating in the trial after having been authorised by the Chamber to do so. They have expressed their position on matters heard before the Chamber and were authorised to examine witnesses on specific issues.
The Trial Chamber issued 257 oral decisions, and 347 written decisions.
The total case record, consisting of the filings of the parties and participants and the Chamber’s decision, currently includes more than 2300 filings.