Activists Question ICC’s Decision on Witness Protection

Published: 23 Sep 2011
By: Olivia Bueno

On August 26, 2011, the International Criminal Court (ICC) Appeals Chamber ruled that three witnesses, who had been called to The Hague to testify for the defense in the Katanga case, could, in principle, be returned to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Prior to their transfer to The Hague, the three former militia leaders had been in detention in Makala prison in the DRC (for more information on these three, see “Appearance of Former Ituri Militia Fuels Speculation”). Floribert Ndjabu and Pierre Celestin Mbodina (Pitchou) were detained since 2006 after being implicated in the killing of UN peacekeepers and Sherif Manda more recently after being accused of leading the rebel Front Populaire pour la Justice au Congo. None had yet been brought to trial. After giving their testimony, the detained witnesses had asked for asylum in the Netherlands and for protective measures from the Court. They argued that their testimony relating to the involvement of the Congolese head of state in the massacre of Bogoro could open them up to new threats to their safety in Congo.

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Programmes: Resolving Displacement, Justice and Accountability
Regions: Great Lakes Region, Democratic Republic of Congo
Type: External Article, IRRI Blog