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Media Advisory :

Verdict in the Ongwen case: Practical information

ICC-CPI-20210125-MA256

Dominic Ongwen at the International Criminal Court in The Hague (Netherlands) on 10 March 2020 ©ICC-CPI<br>
Dominic Ongwen at the International Criminal Court in The Hague (Netherlands) on 10 March 2020 ©ICC-CPI

On 4 February 2021 at 10:00 (The Hague local time), Trial Chamber IX of the International Criminal Court (ICC) will deliver the judgment on conviction or acquittal pursuant to article 74 of the Rome Statute in the case The Prosecutor v. Dominic Ongwen. Dominic Ongwen is accused of 70 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly committed in northern Uganda.

The verdict will be read out in public and will either acquit or convict the accused. The accused before the ICC is presumed innocent. While the Prosecution must prove the guilt of the accused, the Trial Chamber will convict the accused only if it is satisfied that the charges have been proven beyond reasonable doubt. The Chamber bases its decision only on the applicable law and on evidence submitted and discussed before it at the trial.

The Chamber is composed of Judge Bertram Schmitt, Presiding Judge, Judge Péter Kovács and Judge Raul Cano Pangalangan. The three judges ensure the fairness of the trial and that the rights of both parties and of the victims are respected. In response to the verdict, the parties will be able to appeal the decision before the ICC's Appeals Chamber.

Webstreaming of the hearing:

The hearing can be followed live on the ICC website, in English, French and Acholi (Courtroom 1); in Acholi on the ICC YouTube Channel; and in English and French on the ICC Facebook accounts.

Attending the hearing:

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, access to the Court's premises is restricted to protect the safety and well-being of users. A limited number of public and media representatives will be granted access to the hearing at the seat of the Court, following measures against coronavirus including wearing a mask and keeping a distance of 1.5 metres.

  • Members of the diplomatic corps, NGOs and other members of the public can request attendance via email to: [email protected] at least 24 hours prior to the hearing. Attendees must present a valid passport or valid ID with a photo at the main entrance of the Court (at: Oude Waalsdorperweg 10, 2597 AK The Hague).

  • Journalists wishing to cover the hearing can request accreditation via email to: [email protected] at least 24 hours prior to the hearing. All journalists must present a valid press card, and a valid passport or valid ID with a photo, at the main entrance of the Court (at: Oude Waalsdorperweg 10, 2597 AK The Hague).

Individuals who have not received a confirmation in advance of the hearing will not be granted access to the building. Those attending are advised to arrive 20 minutes in advance before the hearing starts.

AV materials:
Images of the hearing will be available for download on an FTP server in video (MPEG-4) and audio (MPEG-3) format, and for viewing on the official ICC YouTube Channel.

Photographs of the hearing will be available on the ICC Flickr account. For information on audio-visual matters, please contact [email protected]

Background: The trial in this case opened on 6 December 2016. The Prosecution and the Defence have completed the presentation of their evidence. The Legal Representatives of Victims also called witnesses to appear before the Chamber. On 12 December 2019, the Presiding Judge declared the closure of the submission of evidence in the case. The closing briefs were filed on 24 February 2020. The closing statements took place from 10 to 12 March 2020.

Over the course of 234 hearings, the Office of the ICC Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, presented a total of 109 witnesses and experts, the Defence team lead by Krispus Ayena Odongo presented a total of 63 witnesses and experts, and 7 witnesses and experts were called by the Legal Representatives of the Victims participating in the proceedings. The judges ensured the respect of the rights guaranteed by the Rome Statute to each of the parties, including the right to question the witnesses.

A total of 4095 victims, represented by their legal counsels Joseph Akwenyu Manoba, and Francisco Cox, as well as Paolina Massidda, respectively, have been granted the right to participate in the proceedings. They have expressed their position on matters heard before the Chamber and were authorised to examine witnesses on specific issues.

The Trial Chamber issued 70 oral decisions, and 506 written decisions during the trial phase of the proceedings. The total case record, consisting of the filings of the parties and participants and the Chamber's decision, currently includes more than 1760 filings.

For further information on this case, please click here.


For further information, please contact Fadi El Abdallah, Spokesperson and Head of Public Affairs Unit, International Criminal Court, by telephone at: +31 (0)70 515-9152 or +31 (0)6 46448938 or by e-mail at: [email protected]

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