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Press Release :

ICC concludes confirmation of charges hearing in Yekatom and Ngaïssona case

ICC-CPI-20191011-PR1487


Today, 11 October 2019, the confirmation of charges hearing in the case The Prosecutor v. Alfred Yekatom and Patrice-Edouard Ngaïssona concluded 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 purpose of the confirmation of charges hearing is for the judges to determine whether or not there is sufficient evidence to establish substantial grounds to believe that the suspects 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.

After hearing the oral submissions of the Prosecutor, the Legal Representatives of the Victims and the respective Defence teams for Mr Ngaïssona and Mr Yekatom from 19 to 25 September, the judges heard today their respective closing statements. The judges will now start their deliberations.

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 both 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 both 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.

Additional information:


For further information, please contact Sonia Robla, Chief of Public Information Section, International Criminal Court, by telephone at: +31 (0)70 515-8089 or 31 (0)6 46448726 or by e-mail at: [email protected]

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