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International Criminal Court joins cases of two Congolese rebel leaders

11 March 2008 – The pre-trial chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has ruled that it will join the cases of two rebel leaders facing charges for crimes allegedly committed by their militia groups in the far east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in 2003.

Judges at the ICC, which is based in The Hague, determined yesterday that Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui will have their trials held together, starting later this year.

Currently a colonel in the DRC’s national armed forces, Mr. Ngudjolo Chui is a former commander of the rebel National Integrationalist Front (FNI), and he faces three counts of crimes against humanity and six of war crimes. He is alleged to have played a key role in designing and carrying out a deadly attack on the village of Bogoro, in the north-eastern DRC province of Ituri, in February 2003.

Mr. Katanga, a senior commander from the group known as the Force de Résistance Patriotique en Ituri (FRPI), faces three counts of crimes against humanity and six counts of war crimes over the same attack on Bogoro, in which hundreds of people were killed and many women forced into sexual slavery.

The ICC is an independent, permanent court that tries persons accused of the most serious crimes of international concern – namely genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

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