By Susan Kendi
Lawyers for the prosecution, defence and legal representatives of the victims in the Bosco Ntaganda trial will make closing statements before the International Criminal Court (ICC) on August 28, 29 and 30, 2018.
The Trial Chamber VI of the ICC comprising Judge Robert Fremr (presiding) with Judges Kuniko Ozaki and Chang-ho Chung has allowed the prosecution and defence five hours each to submit their closing statements and 30 minutes to respond to each other’s presentations.
The Legal Representatives of the former child soldiers and of the attacks have been granted one hour each to make their closing submissions while Ntaganda has 30 minutes to make his unsworn statement.
The prosecution will open, followed by the legal representatives of victims, then the defence lawyers before the accused person gives his unsworn statement. The parties in the case will then respond to the closing statements and the defence will make its final closing statement.
Parties were directed to file public redacted versions of their closing briefs within two months of the present order.
They were reminded to adhere to the directions on the preparation of proposals for lesser redacted versions of transcripts.
Ntaganda, who is also known as “The Terminator”, is a former rebel commander and Deputy Chief of the general staff of the Force Patriotiques Pour la Liberation du Congo (FPLC), Patriotic Force for the Liberation of Congo.
He is charged with 13 counts of war crimes and five counts of crimes against humanity allegedly committed in Ituri, Democratic Republic of Congo, between 2002 and 2003. The crimes he is alleged to have committed include: murder and attempted murder, attacking civilians, rape, sexual slavery of civilians, enlistment and conscription of child soldiers under the age of 15 years, among other crimes.
Ntaganda’s trial began on September 2015. He took the stand in his own defence on June 14, 2017.