Press Release: 2 September 2015

Ntaganda trial opens at International Criminal Court


Situation: Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)
Case: The Prosecutor v. Bosco Ntaganda

On 2 September 2015, the trial in the case The Prosecutor v. Bosco Ntaganda opened before Trial Chamber VI at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Netherlands. Mr Ntaganda is accused of 13 counts of war crimes and five crimes against humanity allegedly committed in Ituri, DRC, in 2002-2003. Trial Chamber VI is composed of Judge Robert Fremr, Presiding Judge, Judge Kuniko Ozaki, and Judge Chang-ho Chung.

The trial's opening started with the reading of the charges against Mr Ntaganda. Upon receiving confirmation from Defence Counsel Stéphane Bourgon, Presiding Judge Robert Fremr was satisfied that the accused understood the nature of the charges. The accused pleaded not guilty to the charges. The Court's Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda and Senior Trial Lawyer Nicole Samson took the floor for opening statements. 

The hearings will resume tomorrow with the opening statements of the Legal Representatives of the two groups of Victims in the case, Sarah Pellet and Dmytro Suprun, as well as the opening statements of Defence Counsel Stéphane Bourgon. Mr Ntaganda may also make an unsworn oral statement. After a short break, the start of the Prosecution's presentation of evidence and the testimony of the first witness is scheduled on 15 September 2015.

Background: Bosco Ntaganda, former Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Force Patriotiques pour la Libération du Congo [Patriotic Force for the Liberation of Congo] (FPLC), is accused of 13 counts of war crimes (murder and attempted murder; attacking civilians; rape; sexual slavery of civilians; pillaging; displacement of civilians; attacking protected objects; destroying the enemy's property; and rape, sexual slavery, enlistment and conscription of child soldiers under the age of fifteen years and using them to participate actively in hostilities) and five crimes against humanity (murder and attempted murder; rape; sexual slavery; persecution; forcible transfer of population) allegedly committed in Ituri, DRC, in 2002-2003. Mr Ntaganda is in the Court's custody.

Photographs of the hearing

Audio-visual materials

More information on the trial, as well as audio-visual materials for download (in floor and French language), can be found on this page.

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].

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