Legal news

ICC : Bosco Ntaganda sentenced to 30 years’ imprisonment by a judgement of 7 November 2019, for 18 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, committed in Ituri, Democratic Republic of the Congo, in 2002-2003

In its assessment, the Trial Chamber VI of the ICC referenced aggravating circumstances for several of the counts, but failed to find allegations of witness interference as aggravating given a lack of findings on the allegations beyond a reasonable doubt. The Chamber also found no mitigating circumstances warranting reduction of sentence in its analysis. Mr. Ntaganda is granted credit for the time he has served since March 2013. READ MORE

On 14 November 2019, Pre-Trial Chamber III of the International Criminal Court authorised the Prosecutor to proceed with an investigation for the alleged crimes within the ICC’s jurisdiction in the Situation Bangladesh/Myanmar.

Myanmar is not a State Party but Bangladesh ratified the ICC Rome statute in 2010. The Chamber considered that there exists a reasonable basis to believe widespread and/or systematic acts of violence may have been committed that could qualify as the crimes against humanity of deportation across the Myanmar-Bangladesh border and persecution on grounds of ethnicity and/or religion against the Rohingya population.

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On 27 November 2019, the ICC Appeal Chamber rejected Mr Bemba’s appeal against the ‘Decision Re-sentencing Mr Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo, Mr Aimé Kilolo Musamba and Mr Jean-Jacques Mangenda Kabongo’ of 17 September 2018, which had sentenced him to one year imprisonment and a fine of 300 000 euros.

The Court found that the Trial Chamber did not fail to comply with its directions on re-sentencing, did not err in law or in fact, nor did it impose a disproportionate sentence. It stressed that : “3. It is unhelpful to compare the sentences imposed on different convicted persons without reference to the specific facts and individual circumstances of each person. 4. It is not an error to consider solvency as a relevant factor for the determination of a fine. Solvency is a relevant consideration in numerous jurisdictions and its underlying rationale is the need to ensure a deterrent effect.”

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On 12 December 2019, ICC Pre-Trial Chamber II partially confirmed the charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity brought by the Prosecutor against Alfred Yekatom and Patrice-Edouard Ngaïssona and committed them to trial.

The confirmation of charges hearing took place on 19 – 25 September 2019 with closing statements on 11 October 2019.

Pre-Trial Chamber II, composed of Judge Antoine Kesia-Mbe Mindua (Presiding Judge), Judge Tomoko Akane and Judge Rosario Salvatore Aitala, found that there are substantial grounds to believe that :

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CJEU : In an Opinion delivered on 26 November 2019, the Advocate General considers that a public prosecutor’s office, such as the French one, cannot be regarded as an ‘issuing judicial authority’ for the purpose of issuing an EAW if, when adjudicating on an EAW, its members must comply with general instructions on criminal justice policy, issued by the Minister for Justice, which are binding in relation to such warrants and with instructions issued to them by their hierarchical superiors.

Cf. CJEU Press release of 26 November 2019 :

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By 3 judgements of 12 December 2019, the CJEU has ruled that the French, Swedish and Belgian public prosecutor’s offices satisfy the requirements (in particular of independence) for issuing a European arrest warrant, and clarifies the scope of the judicial protection afforded to persons referred to in such warrants.

In particular, the Court considered that the status of the French public prosecutor’s office afforded it a sufficient guarantee of independence for the issuing of European arrest warrants.

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Conviction of Mr Bosco Ntaganda by the ICC

On 8 July 2019, Trial Chamber VI of the International Criminal Court found Mr Bosco Ntaganda guilty, beyond reasonable doubt, of 18 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, committed in Ituri, Democratic Republic of the Congo, in 2002-2003.

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ICC Appeals Chamber confirms Jordan’s non-cooperation but reverses the decision referring it to the ASP and UNSC

By a jugement of 6 May 2019, the ICC AC decided unanimously to confirm the decision of ICC PTC II which found that Jordan, a State Party to the ICC Rome Statute, had failed to comply with its obligations by not arresting Mr Omar Al-Bashir (then President of the Republic of the Sudan) and surrendering him to the ICC while he was on Jordanian territory attending the League of Arab States’ Summit on 29 March 2017.READ MORE

ICC judges reject opening of an investigation regarding Afghanistan situation

On 12 April 2019, Pre-Trial Chamber II of the ICC rejected unanimously the request of the Prosecutor to proceed with an investigation for alleged crimes against humanity and war crimes, on the territory of in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. The judges decided that an investigation into the situation in Afghanistan at this stage would not serve the interests of justice.

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