Press Release: 22 October 2007

First appearance of Mr. Germain Katanga before the Pre-Trial Chamber I


Situation: Democratic Republic of the Congo
Case: The Prosecutor v. Germain Katanga

On 22 October 2007 Pre-Trial Chamber I held a public hearing during which the Congolese national Mr Germain Katanga, appeared for the first time before the Court. The identity of Mr Katanga was verified.

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

The Chamber reminded the detainee that it is in his interest to appoint as soon as possible a Principal Counsel, and asked the Registry to take all necessary measures to facilitate this designation. Mr Katanga had appointed the Office of Public Counsel for the Defence (OPCD) as Duty Counsel to represent him during this initial appearance. It is not the mandate of the OPCD to represent the suspect for the next stages of the proceedings.

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

The Chamber reminded the Office of the Prosecutor of his obligation under the Rome Statute to disclose to the Defence, as soon as possible, evidence which he or she believes shows the innocence of the suspect.

Pre-Trial Chamber I also provisionally set the confirmation of charges hearing for the 28 February 2008.

For further information please contact:

In The Hague: Ms Sonia Robla, Head of Public Information and Documentation Section
at +31 (0)70 515-8089 or at [email protected]

In DRC : Mr Paul Madidi, fonctionnaire de l’information et de la sensibilisation sur le terrain. at +243 99 801 1403 or at [email protected].