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DRC: Latest Statements, Reports and News
24 June 2011
Please find below information about recent developments related to the International Criminal Court's (ICC) investigation in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
This message includes ICC press releases (I), a Coalition member press release, (II) trial and case updates (III), related news and opinions (IV), and audiovisual resources (V).
Please take note of the Coalition's policy on situations before the ICC (below), which explicitly states that the CICC will not take a position on potential and current situations before the Court or situations under analysis. The Coalition, however, will continue to provide the most up-to-date information about the ICC.
I. ICC PRESS RELEASES
Note: This document has been produced by the ICC. The CICC Secretariat
distributes it as part of its mandate to keep member organizations and
individuals informed about developments related to the ICC. The document does
not reflect the views of the CICC as a whole or its individual members.
1 "Closing of the regional academic seminar organised by the ICC in Kinshasa: working together for a sustainable partnership with universities", ICC Press Release, ICC-CPI-20110610-PR683, 10 June 2011,
"From 4 to 9 June 2011, eleven lecturers from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the Central African Republic (CAR) took part in a seminar on international criminal law and the International Criminal Court (ICC) organised by the ICC in Kinshasa, the DRC. The seminar was held in cooperation with the Université Paul-Cézanne Aix-Marseille III and with the financial assistance of the European Union which, to the same end, will fund the organisation of a second regional seminar in Kampala in Uganda in July 2011 for English-speaking academics of Kenya and Uganda, where the Court is also active.
.Several major universities of the DRC and the CAR, two countries where the ICC is conducting investigations, were approached to designate law lecturers to represent them at the seminar. The lecturers were afforded the opportunity to discuss a variety of topics relating to the theory and practice of international criminal justice. They also exchanged views on the various teaching methods, resources and tools needed to teach the course.
.Still with a view to strengthening and maintaining a sustainable partnership between the ICC and academic circles in the countries where the ICC is active, a website devoted to the academic program will come into operation in late August 2011. Information on the ICC's academic program and on the seminars will be available to the general public in French and English. The teaching materials and tools developed under the programme will also be uploaded and will be available to the participating lecturers. Finally, a discussion forum will be created for them on the website so that they can keep in touch, and exchange ideas on matters relating to international criminal justice and teaching in this discipline. Access to these forums for students of international criminal law in the participating universities will also be encouraged."
2. "Trial of Thomas Lubanga Dyilo: The presentation of evidence stage is closed", 20 May 2011, ICC Press Release, ICC-CPI-20110520-PR671, http://www.icccpi.int/menus/icc/press and media/press releases/news and highlights/pr671
"Today, on 20 May 2011, Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court (ICC), comprising Judge Adrian Fulford (Presiding Judge), Judge Elizabeth Odio Benito and Judge René Blattmann, ordered the closing of the presentation of evidence stage in the case The Prosecutor v. Thomas Lubanga Dyilo.
The Chamber has decided that the parties and participants to the trial will present their closing oral statements in public hearings on 25 and 26 August 2011. After the closing statements, the Trial Chamber will pronounce, within a reasonable period of time, its decision. The Chamber bases its decision only on the applicable law and on evidence submitted and discussed before it at the trial.
.The trial started on 26 January 2009. Over the course of 220 hearings, the Chamber heard 36 witnesses called by the Office of the Prosecutor, including 3 experts, 19 witnesses called by the Defense and 3 witnesses called by the legal representatives of the victims participating in the proceedings. The Chamber also called 4 other experts to testify. 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 118 victims, represented by three teams of legal counsel, were authorised to participate in the trial. They have expressed their position on matters heard before the Chamber and were authorised to examine witnesses on specific issues. The Trial Chamber issued 307 oral decisions, and 624 written decisions. The parties and participants before the Chamber exchanged more than 3,560 filings amounting to 52,803 pages.
To publicize the trial, especially during outreach sessions for the affected communities in the DRC, but also to serve the needs of international media, the Court produced 200 programmes for television and radio. In addition, these programmes were translated into local languages and broadcast on a weekly basis on community radio stations throughout the DRC. Overall, through the media, an estimated audience of 25 million was regularly informed."
II. COALITION MEMBER PRESS RELEASE
1. "DRC: Strengthen Civilian Protection Before Elections: UN Should Direct New Resources to Address LRA Attacks and Possible Electoral Violence", FIDH, 9 June 2011, http://www.coalitionfortheicc.org/documents/article_a9770.pdf
See also: "Open Letter to the Members of the United Nations Security Council", FIDH, 8 June 2011, http://www.coalitionfortheicc.org/documents/article_a9767.pdf
III. LATEST TRIAL AND CASE NEWS
A. LUBANGA TRIAL
On 20 May 2011, ICC Trial Chamber I ordered the closing of the presentation of evidence stage in the case. The Prosecution and the Legal Representation of Victims filed their written closing submissions on 1 June 2011, to which the Defence may reply, no later than 15 July 2011. The Prosecution may file a reply to the Defence by 1 August 2011, and the Defence will have until 15 August 2011 to file its final reply. The Chamber has decided that the parties and participants to the trial will present their closing oral statements in public hearings on 25 and 26 August 2011. Judgment in the case is expected by the end of 2011.
1. "A witness asks for money to testify in the Lubanga trial" Fondation Hirondelle, 20 May 2011, http://fr.hirondellenews.com/content/view/16218/571/ [French]
B. KATANGA/NGUDOLO TRIAL
On 21 March 2011, the defence teams for Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo
Chui began presenting their cases before ICC TC II. Katanga's Defence team will present 19 or 20 witnesses. Ngudjolo's Defence team provided a list of 18 witnesses (Ngudjolo is included as a witness). There are 3 common witnesses between both Defence teams, which will be questioned by Ngudjolo's Defence team.
1. "Trial Chamber Orders Protective Measures, says Witnesses could be Returned to the DRC if Asylum Claim Rejected" by Jennifer Easterday, Katanga Trial, 23 June 2011,
2. "Commander Yuda Planned the Attack on Bogoro, Witnesses Claim" by Jennifer Easterday, Katanga Trial, 21 June 2011,
3. "ICC stalls return of DR Congo witnesses seeking asylum", AFP, 10 June 2011, http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jjBFDqgxrx_TDtYu-2cUHvfAMYEQ?docId=CNG.cf4ab7b7802ee16b3523514ab78e28e8.51
4. "Three Defense Witnesses Blame the DRC for Bogoro Attack, then Seek Asylum in the Netherlands" by Jennifer Easterday, Katanga Trial Blog, 6 Jun 2011, http://www.katangatrial.org/2011/06/three-defense-witnesses-blame-the-drc-for-bogoro-attack-then-seek-asylum-in-the-netherlands/
5. "Q&A with Eric MacDonald, Senior Trial Lawyer for the ICC: Part II" by Jennifer Easterday, Katanga Trial Blog, 2 June 2011, http://www.katangatrial.org/2011/06/qa-with-eric-macdonald-senior-trial-lawyer-for-the-icc-part-ii/
6. "Q&A with Eric MacDonald, Senior Trial Lawyer for the ICC: Part I" by Jennifer Easterday, Katanga Trial Blog, 26 May 2011,
7. "Germain Katanga 'had no problem with Hemas' (Witness)", Hirondelle News, 26 May 2011, http://www.hirondellenews.com/content/view/14395/564/
8. "Witness Claims Bogoro Attackers Included Women, Acted Like Civilians" by Jennifer Easterday, Katanga Trial Blog, 23 May 2011
9. "DR Congo ex-fighters seek asylum in Netherlands" AFP, 21 May 2011,
10. "Congolese ICC witnesses seek asylum in The Netherlands" by Eerke Steller, Radio Netherlands, 20 May 2011, http://www.rnw.nl/international-justice/article/congolese-icc-witnesses-seek-asylum-netherlands
11. "Netherlands rejects the witness' asylum requests" Fondation Hirondelle, 12 May 2011, http://fr.hirondellenews.com/content/view/16186/571/ [French]
C. MBARUSHIMANA CASE
On 31 May 2011, ICC Pre-Trial Chamber (PTC) I decided to postpone the commencement of the confirmation of charges hearing in the Callixte Mbarushimana case to 17 August 2011. Meanwhile, on 19 May 2011, PTC I refused to grant Mbarushimana interim release.
1. "International Criminal Court: the leader of the FDLR will appear on 17 August 2011", WADR, 31 May 2011, http://www.wadr.org/fr/site/news_fr/903/Cour-PÃ©nale-internationale-le-leader-des-FDLR-comparaitra-le-17-aoÃ»t-2011.htm [French]
2. "Charges against Mbarushimana ongoing in France" Fondation Hirondelle, 25 May 2011, http://fr.hirondellenews.com/content/view/16244/325/ [French]
3. "Judges reject the interim release of Mbarushimana" Fondation Hirondelle, 20 May 2011, http://fr.hirondellenews.com/content/view/16220/571/ [French]
IV. RELATED NEWS AND OPINIONS
1. "A law project to sanction the most important human rights violations" Radio Okapi, 14 June 2011, http://radiookapi.net/actualite/2011/06/14/rdc-un-projet-de-loi-pour-sanctionner-les-plus-graves-violations-des-droits-de-lâhomme/ [French]
2. "Kinshasa wants to judge crimes committed before the creation of the ICC", Fondation Hirondelle, 14 June 2011, http://fr.hirondellenews.com/content/view/16341/572/ [French]
3. "Faith in DRC Justice Bolstered After High Profile Case" IWPR, 11 June 11
4. "Women in the Crossfire" by Liesl Gerntholtz, Human Rights Watch, 9 June 2011, http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2011/06/08/women-crossfire
5. "New Study Shows 420,000 Raped Each Year in DR Congo" Impunity Watch, 23 May 2011, http://impunitywatch.com/?p=17620
6. "DR Congo: Security Council discusses key challenges and risks in an election year" UN News Center, 18 May 2011
IV. AUDIOVISUAL RESOURCES
1. "US Ambassador at-large for War Crimes, Stephen Rapp" Interactive Radio for Justice, 6 June 2011, http://www.irfj.org/2011/06/19-us-ambassador-at-large-for-war-crimes-stephen-rapp/
2. ""Noël Mamere pleads for "fighting relentlessly against the authors of crimes against humanity" in DRC", Radio Okapi, 19 May 2011,
CICC's policy on the referral and prosecution of situations before the ICC:
The Coalition for the ICC is not an organ of the court. The CICC is an independent NGO movement dedicated to the establishment of the International Criminal Court as a fair, effective, and independent international organization. The Coalition will continue to provide the most up-to-date information about the ICC and to help coordinate global action to effectively implement the Rome Statute of the ICC. The Coalition will also endeavor to respond to basic queries and to raise awareness about the ICC's trigger mechanisms and procedures, as they develop. The Coalition as a whole, and its secretariat, do not endorse or promote specific investigations or prosecutions or take a position on situations before the ICC. However, individual CICC members may endorse referrals, provide legal and other support on investigations, or develop partnerships with local and other organizations in the course of their efforts. Communications to the ICC can be sent to: ICC P.O. box 19519 2500 CM the Hague The Netherlands