Today, 19 September 2019, the confirmation of charges hearing in the case
The Prosecutor v. Alfred Yekatom and Patrice-Edouard Ngaïssona opened before Pre-Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court (ICC), composed of Judge Antoine Kesia-Mbe Mindua (Presiding Judge), Judge Tomoko Akane and Judge Rosario Salvatore Aitala.
The hearing is scheduled until 27 September 2019. The judges will hear successively the oral submissions of the Prosecutor, the Legal Representatives of the Victims and the Defence.
The confirmation of charges hearing is not a trial. The purpose of the confirmation of charges hearing is for the judges to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to establish substantial grounds to believe that the person committed each of the crimes charged. If the charges are confirmed, in full or in part, the case will be transferred to a Trial Chamber, which will conduct the subsequent phase of the proceedings: the trial.
In accordance with Regulation 53 of the Regulations of the Court, the Pre-Trial Chamber shall deliver its written decision within 60 days of the date on which the confirmation hearing ends.
The Pre-Trial Chamber may:
confirm those charges for which the Chamber has determined that there is sufficient evidence, and commit one or two of the suspects to a Trial Chamber for trial;
decline to confirm those charges for which it has determined that there is insufficient evidence and stop the proceedings against one or two of the suspects;
adjourn the hearing and request the Prosecutor to provide further evidence, to conduct further investigations or to amend any charge for which the evidence submitted appears to establish that a crime other than the one charged was committee, for one or two of the suspects.
The Defence and the Prosecutor cannot directly appeal this decision. However they can request authorisation from the Pre-Trial Chamber to appeal it.
Background: Alfred Yekatom is
alleged to be responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in various locations in the Central African Republic, specifically in Bangui, Boeing and the Lobaye Prefecture, between 5 December 2013 and at least August 2014, namely: murder, torture and cruel treatment, mutilation, intentional attack against the civilian population, intentional attack against buildings dedicated to religion, enlistment of children under the age of 15 years and their use to participate actively in hostilities, displacement of the civilian population and destruction of the adversary's property, as war crimes; and murder, deportation or forcible transfer of population, imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty, torture, persecution and other inhumane acts, as crimes against humanity. Mr Yekatom was
surrendered to the ICC custody on 17 November 2018. His initial appearance before Pre-Trial Chamber II took place on 23 November 2018.
Patrice-Edouard Ngaïssona is
alleged to be responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in various locations in the Central African Republic between at least 5 December 2013 and at least December 2014, namely: murder and attempted murder, torture, cruel treatment, mutilation, outrages upon personal dignity, intentionally directing attacks against the civilian population, intentionally directing attacks against buildings dedicated to religion, pillaging, rape and attempted rape, enlistment of children under the age of 15 years and their use to participate actively in hostilities, displacement of the civilian population and destruction of the property of an adversary, as war crimes; and murder and attempted murder, extermination, deportation or forcible transfer of population, imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty, torture, rape and attempted rape, persecution and other inhumane acts, as crimes against humanity. Mr Ngaïssona was
transferred to ICC custody on 23 January 2019, following the completion of necessary national proceedings in France, where he was
arrested on 12 December 2018. His initial appearance before Pre-Trial Chamber II took place on 25 January 2019. On 20 February 2019, Pre-Trial Chamber II decided to join the cases of
The Prosecutor v. Alfred Yekatom and
The Prosecutor v. Patrice-Edouard Ngaïssona.
Webstreaming of the hearing: With 30 minute delay on the
ICC website (Courtroom 1)
Photographs: Photographs of the hearing can be downloaded on the Court's
Opening of the hearing, first session (floor)
"Ask the Court" programme
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