ICC terminates proceedings against Vincent Otti following his passing
Today, 17 November 2023, Pre-Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court (ICC) terminated proceedings against the alleged former Vice-Chairman and Second-in-Command of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), Vincent Otti. The Chamber made this decision following the Prosecution’s ‘Third Request to Terminate Proceedings against Vincent Otti’.
In its request, the Prosecution explained that “all available evidence indicates that Mr Otti was killed in a remote area of the Democratic Republic of Congo in October 2007.” In addition to the information previously submitted before the Chamber, the Prosecution appended two witness statements and explained that the only eye witness to Mr Otti’s killing must also be assumed dead. It indicated that further investigative steps are unlikely to result in any additional proof of Mr Otti’s death.
In its decision, the Chamber found that the only reasonable conclusion is that Mr Otti is no longer alive. The Chamber recalled that the Court cannot exercise jurisdiction over a deceased person. The death of the suspect therefore required to terminate the proceedings against Mr Otti, further to which all relevant documents, including any warrants of arrest, are rendered without effect.
Background: The Warrant of Arrest for Vincent Otti was issued under seal on 8 July 2005 and unsealed on 13 October 2005. He was suspected of eleven counts of crimes against humanity (murder, sexual enslavement, inhumane acts of inflicting serious bodily injury and suffering) and twenty-one counts of war crimes (rape, intentionally directing an attack against a civilian population, forced enlistment of children, cruel treatment of civilians, pillaging, and murder) allegedly committed in northern Uganda after 1 July 2002. Mr Otti’s case was joined to the case of other LRA commanders Joseph Kony and Dominic Ongwen. On 6 February 2015, Pre-Trial Chamber II severed the proceedings against Dominic Ongwen from the Kony et al. case following his surrender to the ICC custody on 16 January 2015.
For further information, please contact Fadi El Abdallah, Spokesperson and Head of Public Affairs Unit, International Criminal Court, by telephone at: +31 (0)70 515-9152 or +31 (0)6 46448938 or by e-mail at: [email protected].