25 December 2012

Gambia: ICC to Free Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui Following His Acquittal

On Friday, 21 December 2012, Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui will be freed following his acquittal by Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court (ICC). The Prosecutor has however appealed the verdict.

Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui will remain temporarily in The Netherlands until the travel ban imposed by the United Nations is lifted to allow him to return to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

The release of Mr Ngudjolo Chui is being made taking into account his opinion, according to ICC legal texts. Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui has expressed interest in returning to the DRC if the security situation allows.

During ICC proceedings, Mr Ngudjolo Chui was detained at the ICC Detention Centre located within a Dutch prison complex in Scheveningen - on the outskirts of The Hague ( Netherlands ).

Background: The trial against Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui started on 24 November 2009. On 18 December 2012, Trial Chamber II acquitted Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui of three counts of crimes against humanity and seven counts of war crimes allegedly committed during an attack against the Bogoro village (DRC) on 24 February 2003. Judges found that the Prosecution had not proved beyond reasonable doubt that Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui was responsible for the crimes committed during the attack. The Office of the Prosecutor has appealed the verdict. The Chamber also ordered the immediate release of Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui following his acquittal. On 20 December 2012, the Appeals Chamber rejected the Office of the Prosecutor's request to keep Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui in custody until the Chamber decides on its appeal of the immediate release decision.

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