21 December 2013

Congo-Kinshasa: ICC Staff Dismissed Over DRC Sexual Abuses

Nairobi — The International Criminal Court has dismissed several staff working in the Democratic Republic of Congo for inappropriate conduct following sexual assault allegations.

ICC Registrar Herman von Hebel after receiving a report of the review panel set to investigate allegations of sexual assault of individuals under the ICC protection programme in the DRC said he will determine if further action would be taken against the ICC officers who have been dismissed.

"Disciplinary measures, including dismissal, have already been taken in respect of certain staff involved. The Registrar is in the process of analysing the content of the full report in order to assess whether further disciplinary action is required," the ICC Public Affairs Unit indicated.

According to the communication, the court will pursue a legal procedure against one of the alleged perpetrators and if found guilty, he will bear criminal responsibility of sexual assault.

"The review panel confirmed the results of the ICC's initial internal inquiry, and concluded that one person alone, the alleged perpetrator, would bear criminal responsibility for the alleged crimes if proven," the statement indicated.

The inquiry was commissioned in June this year after four individuals under the ICC protection programme in DRC complained that court staff had sexually harassed them.

In the report, the inquiry concluded that the staff members dismissed had failed to do their work of managing and supervising affairs of people under ICC's protection programme.

The four people under the ICC's protection programme complained that they were sexually abused by a former court employee working in the DRC.

The internal inquiry was set up to analyse the allegations by the four people under the ICC's protection and determine if the former ICC staffer was culpable.

Former International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda prosecutor Brenda Hollis chaired the four-member panel of independent specialists which handed over the report to ICC judges, the Assembly of State Parties to the Rome Statute President Tiina Intelmann and other parties involved in the cases in the DRC.

DRC referred its situation to the ICC in 2004 after which ICC narrowed down to charge Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, Germain Katanga, Bosco Ntaganda, Callixte Mbarushimana, Sylvestre Mudacumura and Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui for killings of about 800 civilians.

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