Chamber IX has scheduled hearings in the last two weeks of November for defense
mental health experts to explain why, in their opinion, Dominic Ongwen had a
mental illness or defect during the period that he has been charged with
committing war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Describing the upcoming evidence of
the defense mental health experts as of “high importance,” the chamber said in an
October 1 decision that these experts will testify between November 18 and November 22.
chamber also decided the prosecution may call a rebuttal witness to testify on
either November 25 or November 26. The judges said that if the defense so wishes
they could call a rejoinder witness to testify on either November 28 or
of the case the defense team is presenting is that Ongwen is not responsible
for the crimes he has been charged with because he had a mental illness or
defect during the period he is alleged to have committed those crimes.
year, the prosecution called two psychiatrists and a psychologist to show the
court that Ongwen can be held responsible for the crimes he has been charged
with. The prosecution expert witnesses were psychiatrist Gillian Clare Mezey;
psychiatrist Catherine Abbo; and psychologist Roland Weierstall.
Mezey testified on March
19 and March
20, 2018. Abbo
testified March 26 to 28, 2018. Weierstall testified April
11 and 12, 2018.
has been charged with 70 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity he
allegedly committed as a commander in the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) between
July 2002 and December 2005 in northern Uganda. He has pleaded not guilty to
Trial Chamber IX made its October 1 decision after it
received submissions from the defense and the prosecution. The defense filed
a request on
September 17 asking that their experts be allowed to testify between November
18 and November 22, which is when they will be available to do so. The defense
also asked the experts be allowed to testify jointly, a request the chamber
rejected. In its filing, the defense only referred to their experts as D-41 and
The prosecution filed two submissions on the matter. On
September 19, the prosecution filed
a response to
the defense’s September 17 request. The prosecution indicated in a separate
filing on September
17 that they were considering calling a rebuttal witness after the defense
called their mental health experts. In that request, the prosecution also
wanted to know when the defense experts would testify.
the September 17 filing, the prosecution said Weierstall would be their
rebuttal witness. The prosecution also said D-41 is Dr. [Dickens] Akena and
D-42 is Dr. [Emilio] Ovuga.
During the March and April 2018 testimony of Mezey, Abbo,
and Weierstall, Akena and Ovuga were named and the defense later applied to
have their names redacted from the record. Single Judge Bertram Schmitt ruled
against that request twice, in July
2018 and October
was first published on the International