CAR: Yekatom and Ngaïssona Confirmation of charges hearing postponed to 19 September 2019

Pre-Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has on 15 May 2019 decided to postpone the commencement of the confirmation hearing in the case The Prosecutor v. Alfred Yekatom and Patrice-Edouard Ngaïssona to 19 September 2019, instead of 18 June 2019.

The Chamber granted a request  of the Prosecutor for the postponement of the hearing in light of the need to ensure the protection of victims and witnesses.

The purpose of the confirmation of charges hearing is to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to establish substantial grounds to believe that the person committed each of the crimes contained in the arrest warrant. If the charges are confirmed, in full or in part, the case will be transferred to a Trial Chamber, which will conduct the subsequent phase of the proceedings: the trial.

Alfred Yekatom is alleged to be responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in various locations in the Central African Republic, including Bangui and the Lobaye Prefecture, between 5 December 2013 and August 2014, namely: murder, torture and cruel treatment, mutilation, intentional attack against the civilian population, intentional attack against buildings dedicated to religion, enlistment of children under the age of 15 years and their use to participate actively in hostilities, displacement of the civilian population and destruction of the adversary’s property, as war crimes; and murder, deportation or forcible transfer of population, imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty, torture, persecution, enforced disappearance and other inhumane acts, as crimes against humanity. Mr Yekatom was surrendered to the ICC custody on 17 November 2018. His initial appearance before Pre-Trial Chamber II took place on 23 November 2018.

Patrice-Edouard Ngaïssona is alleged to be responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in various locations in the Central African Republic between at least 5 December 2013 and at least December 2014, namely: murder and attempted murder, torture, cruel treatment, mutilation, intentionally directing an attack against the civilian population, intentionally directing an attack against personnel, installations, material, units or vehicles involved in a humanitarian assistance, intentionally directing an attack against buildings dedicated to religion, pillaging , enlistment of children under the age of 15 years and their use to participate actively in hostilities, displacement of the civilian population and destroying or seizing the property of an adversary, as war crimes; and murder and attempted murder, extermination, deportation or forcible transfer of population, imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty, torture, persecution, enforced disappearance and other inhumane acts, as crimes against humanity. Mr Ngaïssona was transferred to ICC custody on 23 January 2019, following the completion of necessary national proceedings in France, where he was arrested on 12 December 2018. His initial appearance before Pre-Trial Chamber II took place on 25 January 2019.

On 20 February 2019, Pre-Trial Chamber II decided to join the cases of The Prosecutor v. Alfred Yekatom andThe Prosecutor v. Patrice-Edouard Ngaïssona. This case is assigned to Pre-Trial Chamber II, composed of Judge Antoine Kesia-Mbe Mindua (Presiding judge), Judge Tomoko Akane and Judge Rosario Salvatore Aitala.

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Categories: Human interest, Security

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