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Warlord Ntaganda sentenced to 30 years’ imprisonment

By Admin

Added 8th November 2019 10:14 AM

The ICC imposed a specific sentence for each of the crimes committed by Ntaganda. These sentences ranged from eight years to 30 years of imprisonment.

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Bosco Ntaganda during the delivery of the sentence in Courtroom 1 of the International Criminal Court on 7 November 2019 (ICC photo)

The ICC imposed a specific sentence for each of the crimes committed by Ntaganda. These sentences ranged from eight years to 30 years of imprisonment.

JUSTICE   CRIME  

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has unanimously sentenced Bosco Ntaganda to 30 years of imprisonment. The time Ntaganda spent in detention at the ICC from March 22, 2013, to November 7, 2019, will be deducted from the sentence.

To make its decision, the Chamber received submissions from the parties and participants regarding the possible sentence, heard witnesses and admitted evidence, and held a hearing on the matter on 17-20 September 2019. 

The Chamber considered the gravity of the crimes and the degree of harm caused by each crime as well as Ntaganda’s culpability, namely his level of intent and degree of participation. 

The Chamber also considered potentially mitigating circumstances but found them either not to be established or considered the weight accorded to be too limited to impact on the individual and overall sentences. 

While the Chamber did find specific aggravating factors to exist with respect to a number of the crimes, it did not consider the allegations about witness interference, which were presented as aggravating circumstances by the Prosecution and one of the Legal Representative of Victims, because the alleged interference was not proven to the standard required for aggravating circumstances, namely beyond reasonable doubt.   

 On the basis of its overall assessment, and in accordance with the Rome Statute, the Chamber imposed a specific sentence for each of the crimes committed by Ntaganda. These sentences ranged from eight years to 30 years of imprisonment. 

In addition, the Chamber imposed a joint overall sentence. Since the Chamber considered that the conditions warranting life imprisonment were not met and because in such a situation the total period of imprisonment may not exceed 30 years in accordance with the Rome Statute, the Chamber considered that it had no further discretion in the determination of the overall joint sentence. It, therefore, sentenced Bosco Ntaganda to a total of 30 years of imprisonment.

 In the circumstances of the case, taking into consideration the nature and gravity of the crimes, as well as Ntaganda’s solvency, the Chamber did not consider it appropriate to also impose a fine or forfeiture of proceeds in addition to imprisonment.

Next steps: The Defence and the Prosecution may appeal this Sentencing Judgment within 30 days. Reparations to victims will be addressed in due course.

Background: On 8 July 2019, Trial Chamber VI found Bosco Ntaganda guilty, beyond reasonable doubt, of 18 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, committed in Ituri, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), in 2002-2003.

The crimes against humanity include: murder and attempted murder, rape, sexual slavery, persecution, forcible transfer and deportation ; and the following war crimes: murder and attempted murder, intentionally directing attacks against civilians, rape, sexual slavery, ordering the displacement of the civilian population, conscripting and enlisting children under the age of 15 years into an armed group and using them to participate actively in hostilities, intentionally directing attacks against protected objects, and destroying the adversary's property. The verdict is currently subject to appeals.

Who is Bosco Ntaganda?

Ntaganda is a former Congolese general. He has been sought since 2006 by the International Criminal Court. Ntaganda has been accused of alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity in Congo.

The former leader of Rwanda rebel group the National Congress for the Defense of the People, Ntaganda and his fighters were integrated into the Congolese army in 2009.

Ntaganda led a mutiny in 2012 and became a leader of a new rebel group, the M23. The M23 have participated in summary executions, rapes, and forced recruitment of children. In March 2013, following infighting between M23 factions, Ntaganda turned himself into the United States embassy in Rwanda. He was flown to The Hague where the trial in his case began in September 2015.

 

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