Trust Fund for Victims submits draft implementation plan for reparations in the Katanga case
On 25 July 2017, The Trust Fund for Victims ("the Trust Fund") at the International Criminal Court ("ICC" or "Court") presented to ICC Trial Chamber II a draft implementation plan for individual and collective reparations according to the order for reparations against Germain Katanga.
The draft plan describes the proposed activities that the Trust Fund intends to implement for the individual and collective reparations awards, both to the benefit of the 297 victims identified by the Trial Chamber. The plan is a result of extensive consultations with the Legal representatives of victims, the authorities in Ituri and Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and the Defence counsel for Mr Katanga.
Before making a decision on the plan, the Trial Chamber will receive observations by the legal representatives of victims and the Defense counsel for Mr Katanga, which are to be filed by 4 September 2017. The Trust Fund also suggested to the Trial Chamber to solicit observations on the draft plan from the government of the DRC.
"Submitting the draft plan is an important step towards making a concrete and tangible reality the ICC's unique promise of delivering meaningful reparative justice to victims through reparations. The reparations programme is designed based on the judicial measures undertaken to remedy the harm that the victims suffered from Mr Katanga's crimes."
- Mr Motoo Noguchi, Chair of the Trust Fund for Victims Board of Directors
The draft plan offers in a flexible manner different categories of reparations' services corresponding to the findings of harm suffered by the 297 identified victims and to their needs and preferences. The plan describes in particular the various services of support for housing, for income‑generating activities, education aid, and psychological to be implemented.
Throughout the implementation process, the Trust Fund's priority remains the security, dignity, and well-being of the victims.
On 7 March 2014, Mr Katanga was found guilty as an accessory on one count of a crime against humanity (murder) and four counts of war crimes (murder, attacking a civilian population, destruction of property and pillaging). On 23 May 2014, he was sentenced to 12 years' imprisonment. His sentence was later reduced and was completed on 18 January 2016.
On 24 March 2017, Trial Chamber II issued an order for reparations in the amount of $1,000,000 USD against Mr Katanga pursuant to article 75 of the Statute (hereinafter "Order for Reparations"). Therein, the Trial Chamber ordered awards for reparations to 297 identified victims, comprised of an individual symbolic compensation award of $250 to each victim and of four collective awards to all victims, in the form of (1) housing assistance, (2) education assistance, (3) income generating activities, and (4) psychological rehabilitation. The Trial Chamber instructed the Trust Fund to submit a draft implementation plan tasking the Trust Fund with implementing the individual and collective awards contained in the Order for Reparations.
In light of Mr Katanga's indigence, the Trial Chamber had requested that the Trust Fund's Board of Directors consider complementing the payment of both the individual and collective awards ordered against Mr Katanga. In May 2017, the Trust Fund's Board decided to provide $1 million for the reparations awarded to victims in the Katanga case covering the full amount of the costs of the reparations awards ordered by the Trial Chamber. The Board also welcomed a voluntary contribution of €200,000 by the Government of The Netherlands, which included earmarked funding to cover the cost of individual awards.