Initial appearance of Alfred Yekatom scheduled for 23 November 2018
The initial appearance of Alfred Yekatom before Pre-Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court ("ICC" or "Court") is scheduled for Friday, 23 November 2018, at 11:00 (The Hague local time) in Courtroom I. Pre-Trial Chamber II is composed of Judge Antoine Kesia‐Mbe Mindua, Presiding, Judge Tomoko Akane and Judge Rosario Salvatore Aitala.
Mr Yekatom was surrendered to the ICC on 17 November 2018 following a warrant of arrest issued on 11 November 2018 for his alleged criminal responsibility for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in western CAR between December 2013 and August 2014.
During the initial appearance hearing, the Chamber will verify the identity of the suspect and the language in which he is able to follow the proceedings. He will be informed of the charges against him.
Background: ICC Pre‑Trial Chamber II issued a warrant of arrest against Mr Yekatom on 11 November 2018 under seal – unsealed on 17 November 2018 - for his alleged criminal responsibility for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in western CAR between December 2013 and August 2014.
Pre-Trial Chamber II was satisfied that there are reasonable grounds to believe that an armed conflict not of an international character was ongoing on the territory of the CAR since at least September 2013 until at least December 2014 between the Seleka – a coalition of armed groups predominantly composed of Muslims – and the Anti-Balaka – a predominantly Christian countermovement to the Seleka. The Chamber also found that there are reasonable grounds to believe that, from at least September 2013 until at least December 2014, a widespread and systematic attack was carried out by the Anti-Balaka against the Muslim civilian population and anyone perceived to support the Seleka.
Mr Yekatom was allegedly commanding a group of around 3,000 members which operated within the Anti-Balaka movement. He is alleged to be responsible for crimes committed in this context in various locations in the CAR, including Bangui and the Lobaye Prefecture, between 5 December 2013 and August 2014, as follows:
crimes against humanity: murder, deportation or forcible transfer of population, imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty, torture, persecution, enforced disappearance and other inhumane acts; and
war crimes: murder, torture and cruel treatment, mutilation, intentional attack against the civilian population, intentional attack against buildings dedicated to religion, enlistment of children under the age of 15 years and their use to participate actively in hostilities, displacement of the civilian population and destruction of the adversary's property.
Pre-Trial Chamber II found reasonable grounds to believe that Mr Yekatom committed or otherwise ordered, solicited, induced and facilitated the commission of the above mentioned crimes. The Chamber also found reasonable grounds to believe that he is responsible as a military commander.
Webstreaming of the hearing
The hearing can be followed live at this link.
Please note that the Sango interpretation of the hearing can be followed by clicking on "floor" at this link.
Attending the hearing
Members of the diplomatic corps, NGOs and other members of the public can request attendance via email to: [email protected]. Attendees must present a valid passport or valid ID with a photo at the main entrance of the Court (at: Oude Waalsdorperweg 10, 2597 AK The Hague).
Journalists wishing to cover the hearing can request accreditation via email to: [email protected]. All journalists must present a valid press card, and a valid passport or valid ID with a photo, at the main entrance of the Court (at: Oude Waalsdorperweg 10, 2597 AK The Hague).
Please note that individuals who do not confirm their attendance in advance cannot be guaranteed access to the hearings. In order to avoid delays in accessing the building, those attending are advised to arrive one hour before the hearings start.
ICC Media Centre
For media representatives wishing to use the Court's media facilities, the Media Centre will open at 08:30. The ICC Media Centre is located in the building's 'Court Tower'. It is composed of hot desk areas, which can sit up to 104 people, and two interview rooms. The Media Centre distributes the video and embedded audio of the hearing, via HD-SDI with a female BNC connection. Journalists wishing to connect to this should bring compatible equipment and a BNC cable. Power is provided (European plug). Wi-Fi connection is available in the Media Centre.
Filming or photography is strictly prohibited inside the Court building, apart from the interview rooms and the Media Centre area.
Images of the hearing will be available for download on an FTP server in video (MPEG-4) and audio (MPEG-3) format, and for viewing on the official ICC YouTube Channel. For information on audio-visual matters, please contact [email protected]
Media representatives can use the ICC's Visitor Parking.
The ICC Parking includes an area for SNG vehicles. BNC connections are available and the video format is HD-SDI with embedded Audio (8 dual mono pairs): Channel 1 – Floor language (international audio); Channel 2 - English interpretation; Channel 3 - French interpretation; Channel 4 - 8 - Other languages, or if no interpretation then Floor language will be sent.
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]