The Prosecutor v. Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui
The trial in the case of The Prosecutor v. Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui will start on Tuesday, 24 November, 2009, at 9:30 a.m. (The Hague local time) (hearing schedule). The hearings will be conducted before Trial Chamber II until 11 December, 2009 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. After the judicial recess, the hearings will resume on 26 January, 2010.
Background information on the case
On 17 October, 2007, Germain Katanga, (a DRC national), alleged commander of the Force de résistance patriotique en Ituri [Patriotic Resistance Force in Ituri] (FRPI), was arrested and transferred to the Court pursuant to a warrant of arrest issued under seal on 2 July, 2007, by Pre-Trial Chamber I at the request of the Prosecutor. On 6 February, 2008, Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui (also a DRC national), alleged leader of the Front des nationalistes et intégrationnistes [Nationalist Integrationist Front] (FNI), was arrested and transferred to the Court pursuant to a warrant of arrest issued under seal on 6 July, 2007, by the same Chamber at the request of the Prosecutor.
On 11 March, 2008, Pre-Trial Chamber I decided to join the two cases and, on 26 September, 2008, it confirmed charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity against Katanga and Ngudjolo Chui. On 24 October, 2008, the Presidency of the Court constituted Trial Chamber II and referred the case of The Prosecutor v. Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui to that Chamber, which has since convened status conferences and held a number of hearings. Trial Chamber II set the date for the commencement of the trial as Tuesday, 24 November, 2009.
The case of The Prosecutor v. Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui is the second case in the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo after that of Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, whose trial commenced on 26 January, 2009, before Trial Chamber I. A forth warrant of arrest was issued by the Pre-Trial Chamber I on 22 August, 2006, against Bosco Ntaganda, who remains at large.
Bosco Ntaganda is accused of several war crimes and crimes against humanity including: the massacres of 150 people in the town of Kiwanja in 2008 in his duties as military chief of staff of the National Congress for the Defense of the People (CNDP), torturing and killing of hundreds of civilians of Lendu and Ngiti ethnicity between August 2002 and March 2003 when he was chief of military operations of the Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC), slaughtering of at least 800 civilians on ethnic grounds at Mongbwalu, including the first priest killed in the Ituri conflict, Abbe Boniface Bwanalonga, killing of a Kenyan UN peacekeeper in January 2004 and kidnapping a Moroccan peacekeeper later that year, and recruiting child soldiers in the eastern region of Ituri.