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Media Advisory :

Initial appearance of Mahamat Said Abdel Kani scheduled for 28 January 2021: Practical information

ICC-CPI-20210126-MA257


The initial appearance of Mahamat Said Abdel Kani is scheduled for Thursday 28 January 2021, at 10:00 (The Hague local time) in Courtroom I of the International Criminal Court ("ICC" or "Court") before Judge Rosario Salvatore Aitala, Single Judge of Pre-Trial Chamber II.

Mahamat Said Abdel Kani, also known as "Mahamat Said Abdel Kain" and "Mahamat Saïd Abdelkani" was surrendered to the ICC by the authorities of the Central African Republic (CAR) on 24 January 2021, on account of an ICC warrant of arrest issued under seal on 7 January 2019. He is suspected of war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly committed in Bangui (CAR) in 2013.

During the initial appearance hearing, the judge will verify the identity of the suspect and the language in which he is able to follow the proceedings. He will be informed of the charges against him and of his rights under the ICC Rome Statute.

Decision on the convening of a hearing for the initial appearance of Mr Mahamat Said Abdel Kani

Webstreaming of the hearing:

The hearing can be followed with a 30-minute delay in English, French and Sango on the ICC website (Courtroom 1); in Sango 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: When issuing the warrant of arrest, the Single Judge of Pre-Trial Chamber II, Rosario Salvatore Aitala, found that there were reasonable grounds to believe that an armed conflict not of an international character was ongoing on the territory of the CAR from at least March 2013 until at least January 2014 between the Seleka – a coalition of armed groups predominantly composed of Muslims opposed to former president François Bozizé – and the Anti-Balaka – a movement opposed to the Seleka and supportive of former president Bozizé. Moreover, the Single Judge found reasonable grounds to believe that, from at least March 2013 until at least January 2014, a widespread and systematic attack was conducted by members of the Seleka against the civilian population and those perceived to be collectively responsible for, complicit with or supportive of the former Bozizé government and, later, of the Anti-Balaka.

The Single Judge found reasonable grounds to believe that Mr Said, a national of the Central African Republic, born on 25 February 1970 in Bria, was a Seleka commander and, in this capacity, he is suspected of being responsible for the following crimes:

  • crimes against humanity (imprisonment or other severe deprivation of liberty; torture; persecution; enforced disappearance; and other inhumane acts); and

  • war crimes (torture and cruel treatment).

Mr Said is suspected of having committed these crimes jointly with others and/or through others or ordered, solicited or induced these crimes or aided, abetted or otherwise assisted in the commission of these crimes; or in any other way contributed to the commission or these crimes.


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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