On 5 December 2013, Jean-Jacques Mangenda Kabongo
appeared before the single Judge of Pre-Trial Chamber II of the International
Criminal Court (ICC), Judge Cuno Tarfusser, at the seat of the ICC in The Hague
(The Netherlands). He is suspected of offences against the administration of
justice allegedly committed in connection with the case The Prosecutor v.
Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo.
The hearing was held in the presence of the
Prosecution and the Defence. Jean-Jacques Mangenda Kabongo was represented by
his duty counsel Jean Flamme.
The single Judge verified the identity of the suspect
and ensured that he was clearly informed of the charges brought against him and
of his rights under the Rome Statute of the ICC. The single Judge reminded the
parties of the calendar set for expeditious proceedings leading to the
confirmation of charges decision, including for the disclosure of evidence.
With a confirmation of charges decision, Judges
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, the Pre-Trial Chamber commits the case for trial before a Trial
Chamber, which will conduct the subsequent phase of the proceedings: the trial.
The single Judge explained that the decision on the
confirmation of the charges will be made in writing, without holding a hearing,
due to the nature of the charges in the case. Prior to the decision, a number
of status conferences will be held, in particular to ensure the proper
disclosure of evidence to the Defence.
Background: On 20 November 2013, Judge Cuno Tarfusser issued a
warrant of arrest for Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo, his lead Counsel Aimé Kilolo
Musamba, Jean-Jacques Mangenda Kabongo (a member of Mr Bemba’s Defence team and
case manager), Fidèle Babala Wandu (a member of the DRC Parliament and Deputy
Secretary General of the Mouvement pour la Libération du Congo), and
Narcisse Arido (a Defence witness) for offences against the administration of
justice allegedly committed in connection with the case of The Prosecutor v.
Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo.
23 and 24 November 2013, the Dutch authorities arrested Jean-Jacques Mangenda
Kabongo, the Belgian authorities arrested Aimé Kilolo Musamba, the French
authorities arrested Narcisse Arido, and the authorities of the Democratic
Republic of the Congo (DRC) arrested Fidèle Babala Wandu, in response to
requests for arrest and surrender from the ICC.
25 November 2013, Fidèle Babala Wandu and Aimé Kilolo Musamba were transferred
to the ICC detention centre. On 27 November
2013, Aimé Kilolo Musamba, Fidèle Babala Wandu, and Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo
made their initial appearance before Judge Cuno Tarfusser.
Arido will be surrendered to the Court only upon completion of the relevant
national proceedings in France.
For photos of the hearing, click here.
Audio and video of the
YouTube (for viewing): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NoRvhnR6YFA
(MPEG-4) for download: http://www.fileserver.icc-cpi.info/video/131205_bemba_kilolo_et_al.mp4 (290.4MB)
Audio (MPEG-3) for download: http://www.fileserver.icc-cpi.info/audio/131205_bemba_kilolo_et_al.mp3 (63.1MB)
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].
You can also follow the Court’s activities on YouTube