The International Criminal Court (ICC) has announced that the pre-trial for confirmation of charges brought against a former Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebel senior commander Dominic Ongwen will be on Thursday, January 21.
The confirmation of charges hearing is held to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to establish substantial grounds to believe that the person committed each of the crimes charged.
If charges are confirmed, the Pre-Trial Chamber commits the case for trial before a Trial Chamber, which conducts the subsequent phase of the proceedings: the trial.
Pre-Trial Chamber II is composed of Judge Cuno Tarfusser, Presiding Judge,Judge Marc Perrin de Brichambaut and Judge Chang-ho Chung. Pre-Trial Chamber II has been assigned with the situations in Central African Republic I, Central African Republic II, Darfur, Kenya and Uganda.
The Monitor, a Ugandan online news portal has reported that the hearing will be relayed live on local television and radio stations according to the ICC Field Outreach assistant for Uganda, Mr Jimmy Otim.
The places where the proceedings will be relayed live on television include massacre sites such as Odek, Barlonyo, Abok, Lukodi and Pajule. He said there will also be radio talk shows on Mega FM in Gulu, Luo FM in Pader and Unity FM in Lira as part of the court’s outreach strategy.
Mr Ongwen is allegedly criminally responsible for seven counts on the basis of his individual criminal responsibility (article 25(3)(b) of the Statute) including:
Three counts of crimes against humanity (murder – article 7(1)(a); enslavement – article 7(1)(c); inhumane acts of inflicting serious bodily injury and suffering – article 7(1)(k)); and,
Four counts of war crimes (murder – article 8(2)(c)(i)); cruel treatment of civilians – article 8(2)(c)(i); intentionally directing an attack against a civilian population – article 8(2)(e)(i); pillaging – article 8(2)(e)(v)).