Press Release: 26 January 2015

Dominic Ongwen makes first appearance before the ICC


On 26 January 2015, Dominic Ongwen appeared before the Single Judge of Pre-Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Judge Ekaterina Trendafilova, at the seat of the ICC in The Hague (The Netherlands). The Single Judge provisionally set the date of the beginning of the confirmation of charges hearing in respect of Dominic Ongwen for 24 August 2015.

The hearing was held in the presence of the Prosecutor and the Defence. Dominic Ongwen was represented by his Duty Counsel, Hélène Cisse. 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 in a language he fully understands and speaks, Mr Ongwen's native Acholi.

The Chamber will soon issue a set of decisions regarding disclosure of evidence, redactions and victims' participation in the proceedings. The beginning of the confirmation of charges hearing was provisionally set for 24 August 2015.

The purpose of the confirmation of charges hearing is 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, the case will be transferred to a Trial Chamber, which will conduct the subsequent phase of the proceedings: the trial.

Background: Dominic Ongwen was the alleged Brigade Commander of the Sinia Brigade of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). On 8 July 2005, ICC Judges issued an arrest warrant against Mr Ongwen for three counts of crimes against humanity (murder; enslavement; inhumane acts of inflicting serious bodily injury and suffering) and four counts of war crimes (murder; cruel treatment of civilians; intentionally directing an attack against a civilian population; pillaging) allegedly committed in 2004 within the context of the situation in Uganda.

For further information on the case, click here.

For photos of the hearing, click here

Audio and video of the hearing:

(Floor: English, Acholi)

Relevant documents: 

Warrant of arrest

Questions and answers on the Dominic Ongwen case

Case Information Sheet   
Factsheet on the ICC Detention Centre

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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