Prosecutor v. Bosco Ntaganda

Relevant Sections:

▪ Art. 7(1)(g), 8(2)(e)(vi).

▪ Ntaganda is charged under the alternative modes of liability of direct perpetration and indirect co-perpetration under Article 25(3)(a); ordering or inducing under Article 25(3)(b); contributing to the commission or attempted commission in any other way under Article 25(3)(d) of the Statute; and acting as a military commander under Article 28 of the Statute.


Charges (Gender Based Crimes)

▪ Rape of civilians as a crime against humanity and war crime;

▪ Sexual slavery of civilians as a crime against humanity and war crime

▪ Persecution (including acts of rape and sexual slavery) as a crime against humanity;

▪ Rape and sexual slavery of child soldiers as a war crime.


Facts:

▪ He was Deputy Chief of Staff and Commander of Operations of the Forces Patritiques pour la Liberation du Congo (FPLC) tried for crimes committed during 2002-03.

▪ Victims attested to repeated rapes of children under 15 years of age had been occurring in the camps. The Trial Chamber VI noted that conduct discussed above, amounting to the rape and/or sexual slavery of individuals under the age of 15, was associated with a non-international armed conflict.

▪ Female members or recruits in the FPLC ranks were regularly raped and subjected to sexual violence. These were seen as measures required to ensure that the recruits including younger ones would remain a part of the organisation.


Notable Points by ICC:

▪ Rape and sexual slavery of children were also viewed as war crimes as against the Defence’s claim that allegations of rape and sexual slavery against child soldiers may not be regarded as war crimes. [First acknowledgment of jurisdiction of the Court over this was in Trial Chamber IV decision stating that “limiting the scope of protection in the manner proposed by the Defence is contrary to the rationale of international humanitarian law”].


Verdict:

▪ Chamber considers that no effective measures were taken by Mr Ntaganda to restrain or prevent this practice within his group of escorts.

▪ Ntaganda voluntarily surrendered into Court’s custody in 2013. This is the first case in which all sexual and gender-based crimes charges brought against an accused were unanimously confirmed by an ICC Pre Trial Chamber


Status:

▪ All charges had been confirmed in 2014 and he was found guilty in 2019 thereafter sentenced to 30 years imprisonment. Verdict is subject to appeal


Read the full judgment here.