Statement of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda, on Germain Katanga’s Notice of Discontinuance of his Appeal against his Judgment of Conviction
Today, 25 June 2014,
Germain Katanga notified the International Criminal Court (ICC or the Court) of
his decision to discontinue his appeal against Trial Chamber II’s Judgment of 7
March 2014 (Judgment), in which he was convicted of five counts of
crimes against humanity and war crimes committed during the attack on the
village of Bogoro in Ituri District in the Democratic Republic of the Congo on
24 February 2003. He also informed the
Court that he had decided not to appeal the 12-year prison sentence imposed by
the Chamber on 23 May 2014.
I have taken note of
Germain Katanga’s decision and of his acceptance of the Judges’ conclusions in their Judgment
as to his role and conduct during the attack on Bogoro. In particular, I have noted
the “sincere regret” expressed by Germain Katanga to “all those who have
suffered as a result of [his] conduct, including the victims of Bogoro.”
For this reason and mindful of the
interest of the victims to see justice finally done
in this case, I have decided to
discontinue the Office’s own appeal against
the Judgment, and as
a consequence, not to appeal the sentence delivered on 23 May 2014.
Germain Katanga’s conviction on counts
of murder as a crime against humanity, and
murder, attacks against the civilian
population, destruction of property and pillaging as war crimes thus becomes
final, making this the first final judgment rendered by the ICC.
The truth has now been established about the crimes committed
against the civilian population in Bogoro on 24 February 2003. In
acknowledging his participation in these crimes and in expressing
his regret, Germain Katanga has thereby played a part in addressing the need
for accountability and justice as expressed by the victims. The representatives
of the victims have been duly informed. They have confirmed the importance for
the victims of seeing the crimes and the guilt of Germain Katanga acknowledged with
finality. They will now be in a
position to focus on the important issue of
reparations without further delay.
This first conviction with finality at
the ICC is a clear signal
to all those who might seek to perpetrate such crimes, putting them on notice
that, sooner or later, justice will be served.