ICC Trial Chamber IX to deliberate on the Ongwen case
The trial in the case The Prosecutor v. Dominic Ongwen has entered its final stages following closing statements that took place before Trial Chamber IX of the International Criminal Court ("ICC" or "Court") from 10 to 12 March 2020. During the closing statement hearings, the Prosecution, the Legal Representatives of Victims and the Defence presented their final arguments.
The ICC's Trial Chamber IX, composed of Judge Bertram Schmitt, Presiding Judge, Judge Péter Kovács and Judge Raul Cano Pangalangan, will deliberate on the proceedings and, within a reasonable period, pronounce its decision on conviction or acquittal pursuant to article 74 of the Rome Statute. The Chamber bases its decision only on the applicable law and on evidence submitted and discussed before it at the trial.
The trial in this case opened on 6 December 2016. Dominic Ongwen is accused of 70 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly committed in northern Uganda. The Prosecution and the Defence have completed the presentation of their evidence. The Legal Representatives of Victims also called witnesses to appear before the Chamber. On 12 December 2019, the Presiding Judge declared the closure of the submission of evidence in the case. The closing briefs were filed on 24 February 2020.
The judges of Trial Chamber IX (left to right) Judge Péter Kovács, Judge Bertram Schmitt, Presiding Judge, and Judge Raul Cano Pangalangan on 10 March 2020 at the International Criminal Court in The Hague (Netherlands) ©ICC-CPI
Over the course of 231 hearings, the Chamber heard 69 witnesses and experts called by the Office of the ICC Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, 54 witnesses and experts called by the Defence team lead by Krispus Ayena Odongo and 7 witnesses and experts called by the Legal Representatives of the Victims participating in the proceedings. The judges ensured the respect of the rights guaranteed by the Rome Statute to each of the parties, including the right to question the witnesses.
A total of 4065 victims, represented by their legal counsels Joseph Akwenyu Manoba, and Francisco Cox, as well as Paolina Massidda, respectively, have been granted the right to participate in the proceedings. They have expressed their position on matters heard before the Chamber and were authorised to examine witnesses on specific issues.
The Trial Chamber issued 70 oral decisions, and 190 written decisions during the trial phase of the proceedings. The total case record, consisting of the filings of the parties and participants and the Chamber's decision, currently includes more than 1720 filings.
Closing Statement of the Prosecution
Closing statements of Legal Representatives of the Victims 1
Closing statements of Legal Representatives of the Victims 2
Closing statement by the Defence Counsel for Dominic Ongwen
For further information on the case, click here.
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