23 May 2014

Congo-Kinshasa: ICC Jails Congolese Warlord Katanga for 12 Years

Nairobi — The International Criminal Court (ICC) on Friday sentenced Congolese warlord Germain Katanga to 12 years in prison.

Trial Chamber II however ruled that the six years Katanga had spent in detention would be deducted from the sentence.

"The chamber announced a joint sentence of 12 years imprisonment. The chamber orders that the time spent in detention in accordance with an order of the court - that is from 18th September 2007 to this day - shall be deducted from Germain Katanga's sentence," Presiding Judge Bruno Cotte said.

Katanga who spent six years in detention in the DRC, was found guilty on four accounts of war crimes and one of crimes against humanity.

"The scars of the fighting that occurred that day are still seen today. The use of machetes in the attack was particularly cruel and caused extreme suffering," Judge Cotte said.

The chamber in its decision considered that Katanga cooperated with the Hague-based court even during the six years he was in detention.

In their consideration of the sentence, the judges further recognised his positive role in the disarmament process and contribution to the peace process in Ituri.

The trial in the case against Katanga began in November 2009.

Katanga was sentenced following the massacre of 50,000 people in Ituri province in DRC between 1999 and 2003.

The judges said that he helped in the planning of the attacks and also financed purchase of weapons used in the "particularly cruel" 2003 village massacre.

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