Opening of the trial in the Ongwen case on 6 December 2016: Practical information
Case:The Prosecutor v. Dominic Ongwen
The trial in the case of The Prosecutor v. Dominic Ongwen is scheduled to open on Tuesday, 6 December 2016, at 09:30 (The Hague local time), before Trial Chamber IX of the International Criminal Court (ICC), composed of presiding Judge Bertram Schmitt, Judge Péter Kovács, and Judge Raul Cano Pangalangan.
The trial will open with the reading of the charges against Mr Ongwen. The Judges will verify that the accused person understood the nature of the charges. The Judges will ask him whether he makes an admission of guilt or pleads not guilty to the charges. Oral opening statements will be delivered by the Office of the Prosecutor and the Legal Representatives of Victims. The trial will then resume on 16 January 2017, when the Prosecution will begin to present its evidence and call its witnesses before the judges. At its request, the Defence will make its opening statements at the beginning of the presentation of its evidence.
Background: As alleged former Commander in the Sinia Brigade of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), Dominic Ongwen is accused of 70 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity related to attacks against the civilian population in the former IDP camps of Lukodi, Pajule, Odek and Abok between October 2003 and June 2004, including: attacks against civilian population; murder and attempted murder; rape; sexual slavery; forced marriage; torture; cruel treatment of civilian and other inhumane acts; enslavement; outrage upon personal dignity; conscription and use of children under the age of 15 to participate actively in hostilities; pillaging; destruction of property and persecution. It is further alleged that from at least 1 July 2002 until 31 December 2005, Dominic Ongwen, Joseph Kony, and the other Sinia Brigade commanders were part of a common plan to abduct women and girls in northern Uganda that were then used as forced wives and sex slaves, tortured, raped and made to serve as domestic help; and to conscript and use children under the age of 15 to participate actively in hostilities in the LRA. Mr Ongwen was transferred to the Court's custody on 21 January 2015 pursuant to an ICC warrant of arrest.
- Case information sheet
- Questions and Answers on the trial
- Initial Directions on the Conduct of the Proceedings
- Decision on Legal Representatives' Request Regarding Opening Statements
- Website case page
Video introduction to the trial
Webstreaming of the hearings
The proceedings can be followed with a 30-minute delay on the ICC website at: http://player.cdn.tv1.eu/statics/66005/icc.html
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 08:00. 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 Violeta Willemsen-Curcic, Head of Audio-Visual Production Unit: [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].