Press Release: 11 February 2008

First appearance of Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui before Pre-Trial Chamber I

Mr Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui during his initial appearance before the Court © ICC-CPI - Remco Okhuizen

Situation: Democratic Republic of the Congo
Case: The Prosecutor v. Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui

On 11 February 2008, Pre-Trial Chamber I held a public hearing during which Congolese national Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui, appeared for the first time before the Court. The identity of Mr Ngudjolo Chui was verified by the judges.  

In order to ensure that Mr Ngudjolo Chui was clearly informed of the charges presented by the Prosecution, the Presiding Judge, Akua Kuenyehia, requested a Court officer to read the arrest warrant in full. The Chamber also satisfied itself that Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui was informed of his rights under the Rome Statute, including the right to apply for interim release pending trial.

The Chamber reminded the detainee of his right to freely choose counsel to represent him in proceedings before the Court. In the interim, the Regsitry in accordance with Regulation 73.2 of the Regulation of the Court and in consultation with Mr. Ngudjolo Chui, appointed Mr Jean-Pierre Kilenda as duty counsel to represent him during this first appearance, and until he chooses a counsel to represent him for the rest of the proceedings before the Court.

The duty counsel challenged the admissibility of the case before the Court based on the principle of Ne bis in idem or double jeopardy as enshrined in Article 20 of the Rome Statute, and requested the Chamber to grant his client interim release.

The Chamber shall consider the issue of joining the charges against Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui, at the hearing scheduled for tomorrow 12 February, in closed session.

Pre-Trial Chamber I designated Judge Sylvia Steiner as single judge in the case The Prosecutor v. Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui, in order to organise status conferences and to ensure that disclosure takes place under satisfactory conditions.

Pre-Trial Chamber I also provisionally set the confirmation of charges hearing for the 21 May 2008.

For further information please contact Ms Sonia Robla, Head of Public Information and Documentation Section at +31 (0)70 515-8089 or at +31 (0)6 46 44 87 26; email: [email protected]

DRC: Paul Madidi, Field Public Information and Outreach Co-ordinator at +243 99 801 1403 or email: [email protected]