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 :
- Between September 2013 and December 2014, an armed conflict not of an international character was ongoing in the territory of the Central African Republic between the Seleka and the Anti-Balaka, both constituting organised armed groups at that time; and that the Anti-Balaka carried out a widespread attack against the Muslim civilian population, perceived – on the basis of their religious or ethnic affiliation – as complicit with, or supportive of the Seleka and therefore collectively responsible for the crimes allegedly committed by them.
- Alfred Yekatom and Patrice-Edouard Ngaïssona are responsible for the following crimes against humanity and war crimes allegedly committed in various locations in the context of that conflict: intentionally directing an attack against the civilian population, murder, rape, intentionally directing an attack against a building dedicated to religion, deportation or forcible transfer of population and displacement of the civilian population, intentionally destroying or seizing the property of an adversary, pillaging, severe deprivation of physical liberty, cruel treatment, torture, other inhumane acts and persecution.
- Yekatom has committed these crimes jointly with others or through other persons or, in the alternative, has ordered the commission of these crimes; and that M. Ngaïssona aided, abetted or otherwise assisted in their commission or, in the alternative, has contributed in any other way to their commission by a group of persons acting with a common purpose.
- Yekatom committed the war crimes of conscripting, enlisting, and using children under the age of 15 years to participate actively in hostilities jointly with others or through other persons or, in the alternative, has ordered the commission of these crimes.
Cf. ICC press release, 11 December 2019, https://www.icc-cpi.int/Pages/item.aspx?name=PR1506