The trial of self-styled General Bosco Ntaganda aka ‘The Terminator’ has opened today at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, The Netherlands.
Ntaganda, a former Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Force Patriotiques pour la Libération du Congo, is accused of 13 counts of war crimes and five crimes against humanity committed in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Ituri region between 2002 and 2003.
Ntaganda, who pleaded not guilty to the charges, is appearing before the ICC’s trial Chamber IV comprising Presiding Judge Robert Fremr, Judge Kuniko Ozaki and Judge Chang-ho Chung.
He is represented by Defence Counsel Stéphane Bourgon, while the prosecution is led by ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda.
The hearings will resume tomorrow with the opening statements of the Legal Representatives of the two groups of victims in the case, Sarah Pellet and Dmytro Suprun, as well as the opening statements of Defence Counsel Stéphane Bourgon and, after a short break, the start of the Prosecution’s presentation of evidence and the testimony of the first witness is scheduled for September 15, 2015.
‘General’ Ntaganda is accused of murder and attempted murder; attacking civilians; rape; sexual slavery of civilians; pillaging; displacement of civilians; attacking protected objects and destroying the enemy’s property. Other crimes include rape, sexual slavery, persecution, forcible transfer of population and, enlistment and conscription of child soldiers under the age of fifteen years and using them to participate actively in hostilities.