Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court has issued an Order awarding individual and collective reparations to the victims of crimes committed by Germain Katanga on 24 February 2003 during an attack on the village of Bogoro, in the Ituri district of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
On 7 March 2014, Mr Katanga was found guilty as an accessory on one count of a crime against humanity (murder) and four counts of war crimes (murder, attacking a civilian population, destruction of property and pillaging). On 23 May 2014, he was sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment. His sentence was later reduced and was completed on 18 January 2016.
The judges awarded 297 victims with a symbolic compensation of USD 250 per victim as well as collective reparations in the form of support for housing, support for income‑generating activities, education aid and psychological support. Because of Mr Katanga’s indigence, the Trust Fund for Victims was invited to consider using its resources for the reparations and to present an implementation plan by 27 June 2017.
Mr Katanga was able to view the proceedings via video broadcast at Makala Prison in the DRC. To ensure that interested persons are well informed – in particular applicants for reparations and affected communities – outreach activities, including a viewing site, will be held today in Bunia, DRC and in other villages in coming days. The Legal Representative of Victims and the Defence may appeal the Order within 30 days if they so wish.
The Chamber recalled that the Court must do everything in its power to ensure that reparations are meaningful to victims and that victims receive appropriate, adequate and prompt reparations to the extent possible.
It also recalled that, in all matters relating to reparations, the Chamber must take into account the needs of all victims, and the measures implemented must ensure their safety, physical and psychological well‑being and privacy.