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Department of Public Information . News and Media Division . New York

30 October 2007

Bruno Cathala, Registrar of the International Criminal Court, updated correspondents on the Court’s activities at a Headquarters press conference this afternoon.

He said Germain Katanga, a Congolese militia leader, had arrived in The Hague on 18 October, where he was to be tried by the Court. Mr. Katanga’s arrest warrant had been issued in July 2007 on three counts of crimes against humanity and six counts of war crimes. He was said to have played an essential role in planning an attack against Bogoro village in the Ituri region of north-eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo in February 2003.

Another Congolese militia leader, Thomas Lubanga, was already in captivity, with his trial slated for early 2008, added Mr. Cathala.

Also on 18 October, the Court opened a field office in the Central African Republic, after the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court decided to begin an investigation in that country in May. The purpose of that field office was to provide support to that investigation, including affording protection to witnesses.

Mr. Cathala said the Court already had field offices in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda and Chad. He noted that such offices played an important part in the Court’s outreach efforts.

“If the population does not understand the Court, we have no legitimacy in the different countries,” he said, adding that the Court depended on cooperation from States in arresting and surrendering suspected criminals.

At the moment, he added, the International Criminal Court had six outstanding arrest warrants -- four for members of the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda, and two for suspects from the Sudan.

In the Sudan’s case, he said, although it was not a State party, it was obliged to turn over its two citizens for trial following an agreement reached with the Security Council.

“We have received good cooperation from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Central African Republic. We hope that we will receive the same cooperation from other States parties and also from international organizations,” he said, remarking that the Court enjoyed good relations with the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Asked by a correspondent if the Court was aware of the purported split in the leadership of the Lord’s Resistance Army, he said it “obviously looked at all those issues”, although such information had not led to any arrests so far.

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For information media • not an official record

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