Press Release: 20 March 2014

Narcisse Arido makes first appearance before the ICC


On 20 March 2014, Narcisse Arido appeared before the Single Judge of Pre-Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Judge Cuno Tarfusser, at the seat of the ICC in The Hague (The Netherlands). He is suspected of offences against the administration of justice allegedly committed in connection with the case The Prosecutor v. Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo, consisting of corruptly influencing witnesses before the ICC and presenting evidence that they knew to be false or forged.

The hearing was held in the presence of the Prosecution and the Defence. Narcisse Arido was represented by his duty counsel Xavier-Jean Keїta.

The Single Judge verified the identity of the suspect and ensured that he was clearly informed of the charges brought against him and of his rights under the Rome Statute of the ICC. The Single Judge reminded the parties of the calendar set for expeditious proceedings leading to the confirmation of charges decision.

With a confirmation of charges decision, Judges determine whether there is sufficient evidence to establish substantial grounds to believe that the person committed each of the crimes charged. If the charges are confirmed, the Pre-Trial Chamber commits the case for trial before a Trial Chamber, which will conduct the subsequent phase of the proceedings: the trial.

The Single Judge explained that the determinations on the confirmation of the charges will be made on the basis of written submissions, without holding a hearing, due to the nature of the charges in the case.

Background: On 20 November 2013, the ICC issued a warrant of arrest for Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo, his lead Counsel Aimé Kilolo Musamba, Jean-Jacques Mangenda Kabongo (a member of Mr Bemba’s Defence team and case manager), Fidèle Babala Wandu (a member of the DRC Parliament and Deputy Secretary General of the Mouvement pour la Libération du Congo), and Narcisse Arido (a Defence witness) for offences against the administration of justice allegedly committed in connection with the case of The Prosecutor v. Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo.

On 23 and 24 November 2013, the Dutch authorities arrested Jean-Jacques Mangenda Kabongo, the Belgian authorities arrested Aimé Kilolo Musamba, the French authorities arrested Narcisse Arido, and the authorities of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) arrested Fidèle Babala Wandu, in response to requests for arrest and surrender from the ICC.

On 25 November 2013, Fidèle Babala Wandu and Aimé Kilolo Musamba were transferred to the ICC detention centre. On 27 November 2013, Aimé Kilolo Musamba, Fidèle Babala Wandu, and Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo made their initial appearance before Judge Cuno Tarfusser. On 4 December 2013, Jean-Jacques Mangenda Kabongo was transferred to the ICC detention centre, and on 5 December 2013, he made his initial appearance before Judge Cuno Tarfusser. On 18 March 2014, Narcisse Arido was transferred to the ICC detention centre.

Further information on this case is available here.

For photos of the hearing, click here

Audio and video of the hearing:

YouTube (for viewing):

Video MPEG-4 (for download):

Audio MPEG-3 (for download):

For further information, please contact Sonia Robla, Chief of Public Information Section, International Criminal Court, by telephone at: +31 (0)70 515-8089 or 31 (0)6 46448726 or by e-mail at: [email protected].

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