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Trial of former Congolese warlord Katanga resumes in Kinshasa

Trial of former Congolese warlord Katanga resumes in Kinshasa

Democratic Republic Of Congo

The trial of former Congolese warlord Germain Katanga is set to resume in Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Friday.

Katanga and five other co-accused are facing war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Katanga, who is the ex-commander of the Patriotic Resistance Forces in Ituri, was previously convicted in 2014 and sentenced to a 12-year jail term by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for his role in atrocities committed in the mineral rich north eastern Ituri province in which 60,000 people died in fighting between 1999 and 2007.

Nicknamed “Simba”, Swahili for Lion due to his ferocious character, Katanga was convicted for supplying weapons to his militia in a 2003 attack in the village of Bogoro that saw 200 people shot and hacked to death, but he was acquitted of sexual slavery and using child soldiers.

In April this year, the ICC gave Congolese prosecutors the green light to proceed with a domestic case against the convicted 37-year-old warlord.

His lawyers argued against his prosecution using an article in the ICC founding Rome statute arguing that a sentenced person cannot be prosecuted in a country where he is serving his sentence without the ICC approval.

But authorities in DRC sent a number of documents to the ICC earlier this year detailing Katanga’s alleged crimes, saying they wanted to put him on trial.

Katanga became the second person to be sentenced by the ICC since it commenced work in 2003 as the world’s first permanent court to try war crimes and crimes against humanity.

AFP, Agencies

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