Prosecutors at the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Friday continued to present evidence against former Lord’s Resistance Army commander (LRA), Dominic Ongwen.
The former child soldier who rose through the ranks of the LRA to become a commander is facing 70 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity and has been accused of systematically slaughtering civilians.
On the second day of the prosecution’s oral arguments, lawyer Paul Bradfield revealed there was a clear connection between Ongwen and the fugitive LRA commander, Joseph Kony.
“Joseph Kony asked Dominic Ongwen if he had cleaned the backside of his mother in Odek. P-3 states that this was a coded question. (asking Dominic Ongwen if civilians were killed). A question to which Dominic Ongwen replied ‘kichi kichi’ or in English, completely. Over,” Bradfield told the judges after playing an intercepted radio conversation between Kony and Ongwen.
Bradfield also talked about cruel torture of LRA fighters towards civilians in the Odek camp, one of the attacked places mentioned in the indictment.
Ongwen had led attacks on four Displaced Persons Camps into which civilians had been driven by the LRA’s bloody campaign. Many were killed and others were kidnapped.
The confirmation of charges hearing is a test for prosecutors who must convince judges that their case is strong enough to merit a full trial.
Lawyers for Dominic Ongwen, who pleads not guilty, will argue for the charges to be dropped next week.