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Jean-Jacques Mangenda Kabongo makes first appearance before ICC


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.

On 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.

On 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.

Narcisse 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 hearing:

YouTube (for viewing): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NoRvhnR6YFA

Video (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].

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