Archive for category War Crimes
TRJC Report names Kenyatta and Ruto: On 22 May 2013, the Kenyan Truth Reconciliation and Justice Commission released publically its Report which investigated Kenya’s post-election violence of 2007-2008 and made recommendations. The report named President Kenyatta and Deputy President Ruto in connection with the PEV but did not make recommendations on investigation and prosecution due to the fact that both face trial before the ICC. The report recommended that further investigations and prosecutions by the Kenyan authorities should be initiated against certain “high-profil personalities” within the Kenyan Government; naming newly appointed Minister of Mining Najib Balala and two senators for investigation. The Report asked President Kenyatta to issue a public apology for all human rights violations suffered by Kenyans since the country’s independence.
ICT of Bangladesh rejects Kaiser’s bail application: On Wednesday 22 May 2013, the ICT of Bangladesh rejected an application for bail made by Jatiya Party leader and former Minister of agriculture, Syed Mohammad Kaiser. Justice Obaidul Hassan, Justice Md Mozibur Rahman Miah and Justice M Shahinur Islam explained that bail was not granted in order to ensure a fair investigation into the Prosecution’s case. The defence’s bail application stated that Kaiser is in poor health and needed access to proper medical treatment, while the Prosecution countered that Kaiser’s influence in the community would affect the Prosecution’s investigation. The Court ordered the case to move forward and ordered the Prosecution to file a progress report by 17 June 2013.
Argentina charges former Ford Motors executives with CAH: On Tuesday 21 May 2013, Argentinian prosecutors charged three former executives of Ford Motors in Argentina with crimes against humanity relating to the kidnapping and torture of union workers following the 1976 military coup. Pedro Muller, Guillermo Galarraga and Hector Francisco Jesus Sibilla, the former factory director, human resources chief and security manager respectively, are accused with disclosing names, pictures, and home addresses to security forces who used this information to detain, torture and interrogate union workers at Ford Motors. All three accused were ordered to house arrest and bail was set at $142,000 each.
Habre lawyers file suit to prevent “illegal” prosecution: Former Chadian president Hissene Habre’s lawyers have filed a suit to prevent Senegal from prosecuting him in the Economic Community of West African States Community Court of Justice. Habre is accused of committing crimes against humanity, torture, and war crimes during the eight years he was in power in Chad, during which approximately 40,000 people were killed. Senegal and the African Union set up the regional court in December to try Habre .Habre is arguing that the court is “subservient to the Senegalese executive” and that the agreement between Dakar and the African Union is not based on “any legal ruling, national or international.”
Indonesian government officially rejects Rome Statute: Indonesian Defense Minister Purnomo Yusigiantoro has issued a statement blocking the ratification of the Rome Statute at this time, saying that the ratification was not urgent in light of Indonesian national legal instruments to serve as a foundation for human rights protection. “There are many countries, including major democratic countries, that have yet to ratify the Rome Statute, although there are equally a large number of countries that have adopted it. Therefore, we need more time to carefully and thoroughly review the pros and cons of the ratification,” said Purnomo.
Guatemala’s Constitutional Court annuls genocide conviction of former dictator: The top court in Guatemala has overturned the genocide conviction of former dictator Efrain Rios Montt. Montt was found guilty earlier this month of genocide and crimes against humanity for his alleged role in the massacre of over 1,700 indigenous Mayans during the early 1980’s. The court held that the trial must restart from the point earlier this year when the trial was temporarily suspended due to a judge’s dispute.
New judge appointed in Ruto case: The International Criminal Court has appointed a new Presiding Judge to oversee the trial of Deputy President William Ruto. Judge Olga Herrera Carbucci will temporarily replace Judge Kuniko Ozaki in both Ruto’s case and that of Kenyan radio journalist Joshua arap Sang. Judge Ozaki will now be handling the trial of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta. “The decision of the presidency was taken to ensure the proper administration of justice, taking into consideration each Judge’s workload,” said a statement issued by Vice-President Judge Sanji Monageng.
Ruto and Sang appear in ICC status conference: On Tuesday 14 May 2013, ICC accused William Ruto and Joshua arap Sang appeared before the ICC Trial Chamber during a status conference to discuss the commencement of trial, appearance during trial and witness issues. William Ruto asked judges to waive his right of appearance and allow the Deputy President to appear once during the most important hearings. Making a short statement to the Court, Ruto emphasized his commitment to cooperate with the Court while stating “I am aware that my responsibility to the court as an individual must be balanced by my constitutional responsibility as Deputy President.” During the same status conference, Sang objected to an application by the Prosecution to recall two witnesses and add three new witnesses to the witness list. Sang also responded to the Prosecution’s proposal to limit the testimony of an investigator who is to be called before the Court to answer questions on issues concerning Prosecution witnesses. Both Ruto and Sang asked that the new trial date be set for November 2013 in order to allow the Defence to properly review Prosecution disclosure which the Defence says has been submitted late to the Defence. (For additional information on this topic, please click here).
Arrest of former Chadian police chief Djibrine welcomed: Campaigners and human rights groups in Chad have welcomed the arrest of the former head of the Directorate of Documentation and Security in Chad; former President Hissene Habre’s political police force during the 1980s. Djibrine is accused of the torture and killing of opposition activists in the 1980s, and was arrested based on a lawsuit filed by 13 Chadian individuals who suffered abuse under the leadership of Habre. It is unknown whether Djibrine will be tried domestically in Chad or in Senegal before the special tribunal created in conjunction with the African Union to try Habre.
ICC Prosecutor denies witness allegations and pressures Kenya’s cooperation: ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has denied allegations that witnesses have given the Court false information following the recent withdrawal of witness testimony by several witnesses who gave information against President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto. Bensouda stated that she is “not aware of any witness that has given false information to the ICC.” This week Bensouda also stated while in Geneva that the ICC maintains expectations that Kenya will cooperate with the prosecution on the cases. Bensouda stated “I have been very clear all the time about this matter. I have stated that what we want is the full and unwavering cooperation of the Kenyan Government. In the event that this doesn’t happen, we will have no option but to bring the matter to the attention of the Chamber for direction.” (For additional information on this topic, please click here).
HRW urges India to protect witness before ICT of Bangladesh: HRW has urged the Government of India to protect Bangladeshi national, Shukhoranjan Bali, who is said to be a key defence witness to the ICT of Bangladesh and was reported missing just before he was due to give testimony before the Tribunal. HRW alleged that Bali was abducted and forced to enter India where he was arrested for entering the country illegally. HRW stated “The apparent abduction of a witness in a trial at the ICT is a cause for serious concern about the conduct of the prosecution, judges and government.” Bali claims he was abducted while at the courthouse by police and held in the custody of the Bangladeshi authorities for several weeks before being forced to enter India. Bali has completed his 110 day sentence for entering India illegally but continues to be held in detention. HRW asked that Bali not be returned to Bangladesh before a possible claim for asylum can be heard by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
Argentinian convicted of CAH dies in prison: It is reported that Argentina’s former military leader Jorge Rafael Videla has died of natural causes in an Argentinian prison. Videla, 87, was serving a life since 2010 for the crimes against humanity related to his responsibility for the death of 31 individuals during Argentinian’s military rule from 1976 to 1983. The period from 1976 to 1983 is known for the regime’s “dirty war” which resulted in the torture and killing of over 30,000 people. In 1985 Videla was sentence to life in prison for murder, torture and other crimes but was pardoned due to an amnesty in 1990. In 2010 Argentina’s Supreme Court reinstated his life sentence by upholding a 2007 federal initiate which overturned Videla’s pardon.
ICC opens preliminary investigation of complaint against Israel: ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda met with lawyers representing the African state of Comoros yesterday in response to Comoros’ complaint about Israel’s raid on a humanitarian aid flotilla bound for Gaza. Bensouda said she will open a preliminary investigation. Eight Turks and one Turkish-American were killed and several Palestinian activists wounded when Israeli commandos raided the ship, which was registered in Comoros. “My office will be conducting a preliminary examination in order to establish whether the criteria for opening an investigation are met,” said Bensouda. “After careful analysis of all available information, I shall make a determination that will be made public in due course.”
Ruto pledges Kenya’s commitment to ICC : Deputy President William Ruto pledged Kenya’s continued support and commitment to the ICC, while maintaining that in his own case, he was a “victim of a conspiracy of lies.” Ruto faces three charges of crimes against humanity for his alleged role in the post-election violence that lead to over a thousand deaths. “The new administration, popularly elected in free and fair elections, will continue to cooperate with the court,” said Ruto to the ICC. “The president [Kenyatta – who also faces charges at the ICC] and I firmly believe in the rule of law and that the truth must be found.”
Kenyan AG to lead delegation to ICC in wake of Kamau letter: Kenyan attorney General Githu Muigai will travel to the Hague this week to meet with ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda. The Kenyan government was recently forced to disown a letter sent by Macharia Kamau, the country’s permanent representative at the United Nations, asking the U.N. Security Council to terminate the cases against three Kenyans at the ICC, including the country’s President and Deputy President. “The official position of the Kenyan government is that it has cooperated fully with the ICC and intends to continue cooperating within the framework of the Rome Statute and International law. The government applied to co-operate with the court and we were granted. In pursuit of this, a high powered government delegation will be at The Hague next Wednesday to meet court officials,” said AG Muigai.
AKM Yusaf arrested in connection with war crimes: On 12 May 2013, it was announced the leader of Jamaat-e-Islami, was arrested in the capital Dhaka and charged with offences dating back to Bangladesh’s 1971 war of independence with Pakistan. Jamaat opposed Bangladeshi independence from Pakistan in the war but denies accusations that some of its leaders committed murder, rape and torture during the conflict. (For additional information on this topic, please click here)
Sayedee Appeal: On 13 May 2013, it was announced the Bangladeshi Islamist politician, Delwar Hossain Sayedee, will have his appeal in front of The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court on May 22 for the hearing of an appeal against the war crimes tribunal’s death sentence verdict. The International Crimes Tribunal found the 73-year-old Jamaat-e-Islami nayeb-e-ameer guilty of murder, abduction, confinement, torture, rape, persecution, torture, looting, forceful religious conversions and setting homes ablaze in rural areas of southern district Pirojpur during the 1971 Liberation War period.
Libyan trials seen as Nuremberg moment: On 8 May 2013, ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda addressed the UN Security Council and said that the Libyan government has an opportunity to set an example for the rest of the world by conducting fair and transparent trials. Rumors of rebel crimes are still surfacing but Bensouda hopes that Libya’s actions when prosecuting alleged war criminals will endeavor to seal the primacy of the rule of law, due process and human rights for future generations
Tanzanian soldiers arrive in DRC: On 10 May 2013, it was reported that a contingent of Tanzanian soldiers arrived in the eastern city of Goma in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) today as part of the intervention brigade authorized by the United Nations to help neutralize armed groups in this volatile part of the country. In March the Security Council authorized the deployment of an intervention brigade within the existing UN peacekeeping operation in the country (MONUSCO) to carry out targeted offensive operations, with or without the Congolese national army, against armed groups that threaten peace in eastern DRC.
Guatemalan Tribunal finds first head of state guilty of genocide: On 10 May 2013, a three judge tribunal in Guatemala found the country’s former military leader Efrain Rios Montt guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity for his responsibility of ordering the killing of 1,771 Ixil Maya people in 1982 and 1983. Rios Montt was sentenced to 50 years for his conviction on genocide charges, and 30 years for the crimes against humanity charges. Though other international crimes tribunals have delivered convictions on the crime of genocide, Rios Montt is the first former head of state to be convicted of genocide. Mauricio Rodriguez Sanchez, Rios Montt’s former military intelligence chief who was tried with Rios Montt, was acquitted of the charges against him. Rios Montt is said to have been in power during the most violence phase of Guatemala’s civil war which lasted from 1960 to 1996.
Second witness withdraws testimony against Ruto: It is reported that a second ICC witness has informed the ICC Prosecution of his unwillingness to testify for the Prosecution against Kenya Deputy President William Ruto. In an affidavit sent to the ICC, the witness explained that he was a PNU official who was “induced and enticed” to be a witness when the ICC promised to reward him for his testimony by relocated him to America, Australian or Europe and promising that his standard of living would improve.
Haiti’s Duvalier trial enters preliminary observations proceedings: On 9 May 2013, the President of the Haitian Court of Appeal, Judge Jean Joseph Lebrun, moved the trial against former Haitian leader Jean Claude Duvalier from complaint proceedings into the preliminary observations proceedings. Duvalier is being prosecuted for crimes against humanity and misappropriation of public funds. The trial has heard complaints from victims and family members of victims who were tortured and abused in detention under Duvalier’s regime. The preliminary observations phase is set to begin 16 May 2013.
Chad agrees to allow investigations in Chad for Habre trial: On 9 May 2013, Chad’s Justice Minister Jean-Bernard Badare signed an agreement with Senegal’s Justice Minister Aminate Toure which will allow investigations in Chad to be used in the prosecution of former Chadian leader Hissene Habre trial before the Extraordinary African Chambers in Senegal. The agreement guarantees that judges from the Extraordinary African Chambers are allowed to travel to Chad, speak with witnesses and conduct prison visits.
Posted by iclmediareview in ICC, UN Security Council, Human Rights Violations, Crimes against Humanity, ICT of Bangladesh, Victims, War Crimes, Kenya, Gaddafi, Torture, Investigations, Witnesses, UN Human Rights Council, Fatuo Bensouda, Admissibility / Primacy, News about the Courts, Fair trial/Accused's rights, North Korea on May 9, 2013
Bensouda addresses UNSC on Libya trials as Al-Senussi’s family pleads for access: On 8 May 2013, ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda addressed the UN Security Council on Libya proceedings before the ICC. Bensouda referred to the current cases against Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi and Abdullah Al-Senussi as Libya’s “Nuremberg moment”; stating that “By conducting fair, just, and transparent judicial proceedings for all alleged perpetrators, while also continuing to respect the ICC judicial process, Libya can set a lasting example for other States.” Bensouda also told the Security Council that the ICC Prosecutor’s Office is conducting on-going investigation into other crimes in Libya and against other Gaddafi officials who are outside of Libya. Bensouda said that her office would decide whether to lodge a new case in the “near future.” Bensouda highlighted Libya’s close cooperation with the Prosecution by citing to a recent visit to the ICC by Libya’s new Prosecutor General and Libya’s ICC focal point, and noting that she will be travelling to Libya soon. Bensouda’s address was followed on 9 May 2013, by a statement from the family of Abdullah Al-Senussi which urged Libya to allow Al-Senussi access to his lawyers and family. The statement emphasised that Al-Senussi has not been granted any access to legal representation during his detention and likened his detention to “passive torture.” (For additional information on this topic, please 1. click here, and 2. click here).
Kenya’s UN representatives ask for ICC trials to be terminated: On 2 May 2013 Kenyan Permanent Representative to the UN Macharia Kamau wrote UNSC President Menan Kodjo a confidential letter which asked the UN Security Council to terminate the cases against Uhuru Kenyatta, William Ruto and Josua arap Sang. Kamau asked that his petition be presented to ICC Prosecutor Fatou Besounda during her visit to the UN Security Council this week. The letter is reported to say: “What this delegation is asking for is not deferral. What this delegation is asking for is the immediate termination of the case at the Hague without much further ado.” Kamau’s letter is followed by a statement to the UN General Assembly last month by Kenya’s deputy Permanent representative Koki Muli Grignon who questioned the Court’s performance. In response to the letter, lawyers for accused William Ruto distanced Ruto from the plea, saying that “I have spoken to my client, His Excellency the Deputy President of the Republic of Kenya, Mr William Ruto, and I can confirm and he has made clear that he was not consulted on anything to do with New York. A letter being circulated is not government policy … His Excellency the Deputy President believes in the rule of law and he believes in Kenya observing its international obligations.” Bensouda dismissed the letter stating that: “The letter referred to by the Permanent Representative of Rwanda has not been transmitted to us. We therefore reserve our right to respond to it in detail in due course and we hope that will be given that opportunity once it has been transmitted to us.” (For additional information on this topic, please click here).
ICT of Bangladesh sentences Kamaruzzaman to death: On Thursday 9 May 2013, the ICT of Bangladesh handed down its fourth death sentence. In a packed courtroom in Dhaka, Muhammad Kamaruzzaman was convicted of five counts of mass killings, rape, torture and kidnapping and sentenced to death. Kamaruzzaman’s charges related to the death of at least 183 persons in Sherpur in northern Bangladesh during the 1971 independence war. As the fourth death sentence to be handed down since January, it is feared that today’s verdict will prompt another wave of violence in Bangladesh. Defence lawyer Ehsan Siddiky said that his client would pursue an appeal in what he claimed was a politically motivated trial. Kamaruzzaman will have one month to lodge his appeal.
Charges against Kenyatta amended: The ICC Prosecution has filed a new document containing charges (DCC) and pre-trial brief in the case against Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta which add charges of gun killings in Naivasha and Nakuru. In March 2013, the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber granted the Prosecution the opportunity to amend the charges to include gunshot crimes. The charges now allege that the Mungiki and PNU youth were deployed to areas near Nakuru where guns, machetes, knives, broken bottles and petrol bombs were used to kill and mutilate victims.
UN HR Council names North Korea crimes probe team: The UN Human Rights Council has named a three member team to investigate alleged abuses in North Korea. Following a mandate set by the UN Human Rights Council during its March session, the Council named former Australian judge Michael Kirby, Serbian human rights campaigner Sonja Biserko and an Indonesian Marzuki Darusman who has been monitoring abuses in North Korea for the UN HR Council since 2010. The team has been mandated to investigate “systematic, widespread and grave violations” and ensure “full accountability, in particular for violations which may amount to crimes against humanity.”
Guatemalan CAH trial enters into closing arguments: The trial against José Efraín Ríos Montt and José Mauricio Rodriguez Sanchez has entered its 26th session and proceeded to closing arguments after beginning in March and hearing the testimony of 90 Ixil Maya victims. The trial has heard testimony from victims who have recounted evidence of rape, assassination, torture, and infanticide relating to the charges. Since beginning proceedings, the trial has had several delays at the defence’s request.
Ruto’s lawyers seek trial postponement: On 26 April 2013, Kenyan Deputy-President William Ruto’s lawyer, Karim Khan, asked the ICC to postpone Ruto’s trial until at least November so the defense can prepare properly. Ruto’s case has already been delayed once to give the defense adequate time to prepare; Ruto is set to go on trial on 28 May. Khan stated that the prosecution has delayed transferring crucial information to the defense. Ruto is charged with three counts of crimes against humanity for his role in the 2007-2008 post-election violence. Last week Ruto requested the ICC waive his right to be present at trial; this week the lawyers for the victims of the post-election violence opposed that request. (To read more on this topic, click here.)
HRW calls on Chad to arrest Sudanese Defense Minister: On 25 April 2013, Human Rights Watch called on the government of Chad to arrest Sudanese defense minister Abdel-Rahim Mohammed Hussein, who is attending a conference in the country and is wanted by the ICC for war crimes and crimes against humanity. This is the first time Hussein has visited a state party to the Rome Statute since being charged by the ICC in March 2012. Hussein served as Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir’s interior minister during the height of the conflict in Darfur in 2004; former ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo stated that Hussein is among those who “bear greatest criminal responsibility” for the atrocities committed in Sudan. Although as a state party Chad has the obligation to arrest any suspects, Chad has repeatedly allowed Bashir to visit. While the AU has urged member states not to cooperate with the ICC in arresting Bashir, Chad and other state parties to the Rome statute have received pressure from hundreds of human rights groups, law societies, and the European Union to execute ICC arrest warrants.
Death of Khmer Rouge leader worries victims: On 25 April 2013, victims of the 1970s Cambodian atrocities commented that they worried that justice will not be served on the two Khmer Rouge leaders on trial. Last month Ieng Sary, a former leader of Khmer Rouge, died in the midst of trial. Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan, the former Khmer Rouge leaders on trial, are both aging and the trial is progressing slowly. The Khmer Rouge Tribunal, which was founded in 2006, has only convicted one person in relation to the atrocities that killed approximately 2-million Cambodians.
Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic apologizes for Srebrenica crime, falls short of acknowledging genocide: President Nikolic has apologized for crimes Serbs committed during the break-up of Yugolsavia, including the infamous Srebrenica massacre. President Nikolic refused to call the massacre – in which thousands of Bosnian Muslims were killed – genocide, despite the recognition of it as such by UN war crimes prosecutors and previous Serbian leaders. President Nikolic was a senior figure in the Serbian Radical Party, and has been criticized after last year’s election during which he said “there was no genocide in Srebrenica.” The 1995 massacre resulted in the killing of over 8,000 Bosnian Muslims, and is seen as the worst European atrocity to date, post-WWII.
Kenya to ICC: Let us handle the cases: Earlier this week, Kajiado Central MP Joseph Nkaissery told the ICC that Kenya can and should be handling the ICC cases of three Kenyan citizens, including the newly elected President Uhuru Kenyatta. “The ICC should withdraw from handling cases against the three Kenyans because Kenya is not a failed state and can handle its own issues independently,” said Nkaissery. “We have a new constitution that spells out the beginning for the country.” The trials of President Uhuru and his deputy William Ruto for their alleged role in Kenyan election violence are set to begin later this year.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta discredits two ICC witnesses: President Kenyatta has discredited two of the prosecution’s witnesses in the weeks leading up to his ICC trial. According to Kenyatta, ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda failed to disclose the transcripts of two witnesses to his defense team prior to the confirmation of his charges at the ICC. Kenyatta’s team instead allegedly received the transcripts on 17 April. “Certain passages of the screening transcript are capable of supporting the argument that OTP-11 and OTP-12 [two of the prosecution’s witnesses] fabricated their accounts, and that, following the defense’s refusal to cooperate with their extortion attempt, they colluded in order to devise a story falsely implicating Mr. Kenyatta in the post-election violence,” said counsel for Kenyatta’s defense. Kenyatta asserts that the prosecution’s failure to disclose these transcripts supports his earlier assertion that his case must be referred back to the Pre-Trial Chamber for reconsideration or terminated altogether.
Khmer Rouge prosecutors request declassified US State Department Cables: Prosecutors at the Khmer Rouge tribunal requested 26 declassified cables from the US State Department yesterday in order to add the cables to their case file. The cables – which are now decades old – are said to offer detail regarding Phnom Penh’s fall. The prosecution asserts that the cables will contradict claims that the evacuation of Phnom Penh was carried out in “the interest of the safety and well-being of its citizens.” Defense teams – particularly that of Nuon Chea – assert that the evacuation was necessary to alleviate a crisis situation in the crowded capital city, including shortages of food. The declassified cables were recently released in a searchable format by Wikileaks.
EU lifts Myanmar sanctions: On 22 April 2013, the EU agreed to lift all sanctions against Myanmar except for an arms embargo. The move by the EU may pressure the United States, which suspended most sanctions against Myanmar last year, to permanently lift sanctions. However, Human Rights Watch and other human rights activists have expressed concern over ongoing human rights abuses. An HRW report accuses the Myanmar government of crimes against humanity relating to the “ethnic cleansing” of Muslims last year.
Kenyan Deputy-President William Ruto selects lead counsel for ICC trial: On 23 April 2013, Kenyan Deputy-President William Ruto, whose ICC trial begins next month, selected Kamir Khan to be his lead counsel. Khan successfully represented Kenyan Francis Muthaura, whose charges were recently dropped by the ICC. Ruto also filed an application to waive his right to be present at all trial hearings; Khan argued the Rome Statute does not require a suspect to be present during court proceedings.
ICC President of Assembly of States Parties participates in events in Ethiopia and The Hague: On 19 April 2013, ICC President of the Assembly of States Parties Tiina Intelmann returned to The Hague after a four-day tour through Ethiopia. Upon her return, Intelmann participated in a meeting to assure that top judiciary candidates are appointed to the ICC. In Ethiopia Intelmann met with the Chairperson of the AU Commission to discuss the capabilities of the ICC to address gender based crimes and she meet with representatives of African state parties to the ICC. Intelmann also participated in a seminar focused on the ICC and complementarity; she said the long-term focus of the ICC is to prevent crimes and strengthening the rule of law.
Ntaganda’s trial raises DRC nationality question: On 26 March 2013, Bosco Ntaganda, a DRC warlord currently facing charges before the ICC, addressed the charges against him at the ICC. Ntaganda stated that he was born in Rwanda, but is a Congolese citizen; Ntaganda, however, stated that he prefers to speak in Kinyarwanda, a language connected to ethnic Tutsis and foreign to the DRC. This statement in front of the ICC began a debate in the DRC on what it takes to be “Congolese.” There is some controversy if Ntaganda is considered to be a Rwandan citizen as Rwanda is not a state party to the ICC. The ICC, however, released a statement that Ntaganda confirms he is a DRC citizen and the crimes he is accused of committing were in the DRC, which is a state party—so there is no issue of jurisdiction.