Media Advisory: 16 September 2022

Opening of the Said trial, 26 September 2022: Practical information

M. Said lors de l'ouverture de l'audience de confirmation des charges au siège de la Cour à La Haye (Pays-Bas) le 12 octobre 2021 © ICC-CPI

On 26 September 2022 at 9:30 (The Hague local time), the trial in the case The Prosecutor v. Mahamat Said Abdel Kani will open before Trial Chamber VI of the International Criminal Court ("ICC" or "Court") for crimes against humanity and war crimes allegedly committed in Bangui (Central African Republic) in 2013. Trial Chamber VI is composed of Judge Miatta Maria Samba (Presiding judge), Judge Socorro Flores Liera and Judge Sergio Gerardo Ugalde Godínez. 

The trial will open with the reading of the charges against Mr Said. The Judges will verify that Mr Said understood the nature of the charges and will ask him whether he makes an admission of guilt or pleads not guilty to the charges. The Chamber will then hear opening statements by the Prosecution, the Legal Representatives of Victims and the Defence. The Prosecution and Defence were granted 4.5 hours for their statements and 1 hour for the Legal Representatives of Victims.  

The first Prosecution witness is scheduled to start testifying after the end of the opening statements. The Prosecution is currently expected to call 43 witnesses. After it is finished the Legal Representative of Victims may submit observations, and the Defence will have the opportunity to present its case and call witnesses. At the end of the trial hearings, the Judges will render their judgement within a reasonable period of time. The Trial Chamber will convict someone only if it is satisfied that the charges have been proven beyond reasonable doubt.

Webstreaming of the hearing:

The hearing can be followed with a 30 minute-delay on the ICC website, in English, French and Sango (Courtroom 1), in French on the ICC YouTube Channel and in English and French on the ICC Facebook accounts.

Attending the hearing:

  • Members of the diplomatic corps, NGOs and other members of the public can request attendance via email to: [email protected] at least 24 hours prior to the hearing. 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] at least 24 hours prior to the hearing. 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).

Individuals who have not received a confirmation in advance of the hearing will not be granted access to the building. Those attending are advised to arrive 20 minutes in advance before the hearing starts.

Audio-visual materials:
Images of the hearing will be available for download in video (MPEG-4) and audio (MPEG-3) format, and for viewing on the official ICC YouTube Channel.

Photographs of the hearing will be available on the ICC Flickr account. For information on audio-visual matters, please contact [email protected]

Background: The warrant of arrest against Mr Mahamat Said Abdel Kani was issued under seal on 7 January 2019 for war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly committed in Bangui (Central African Republic) in 2013. Mr Said was surrendered to the ICC on 24 January 2021. The initial appearance before the Court took place on 28 and 29 January 2021. The confirmation of charges hearing took place from 12 to 14 October 2021. On 9 December 2021, Pre-Trial Chamber II partially confirmed the charges brought by the Prosecution against Mr Said and committed him to a Trial Chamber for trial on the charges as confirmed: crimes against humanity (imprisonment or other severe deprivation of liberty; torture; persecution; enforced disappearance and other inhumane acts) and war crimes (torture and cruel treatment). On 21 February 2022, Trial Chamber VI scheduled the opening of the trial for 26 September 2022.

For more information on this case, click here

Related documents:

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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