ICC Sets Date for Judgement On Ongwen’s Appeal

The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has set December 15 as the date to deliver its verdict on an appeal by the former Lord’s Resistance Army warlord, Dominic Ongwen challenging his conviction and sentence.

Ongwen was sentenced to 25 years’ imprisonment by the ICC in May last year after being found guilty of a total of 61 crimes comprising crimes against humanity and war crimes. The crimes were committed in Northern Uganda between 1 July 2002 and 31 December 2005.

However, through his lawyers, Ongwen filed appeals against the conviction and sentencing on July 21 and August 26, 2021, respectively. His defense raised 90 grounds of appeal consisting of alleged legal, factual and procedural errors relating to the conviction, and 11 grounds of appeal, alleging legal, factual, and procedural errors relating to the sentence.

A panel of five judges of the appeals chamber will deliver the verdict according to a statement issued by Fadi El Abdallah, the ICC Spokesperson and Head of the Public Affairs Unit on November 30.

The judges are Luz del Carmen Ibáñez Carranza (presiding judge), Judge Piotr Hofmański, Judge Solomy Bossa, Judge Reine Alapini-Gansou, and Judge Gocha Lordkipanidze.

Ongwen, a former child soldier who was abducted at the age of 10 is the first LRA top commander among four others indicted by the ICC to be sentenced by the Global court.

He was a brigade Commander of the Sinia Brigade of the LRA at the time the arrest warrants were issued. His former commander and founder of the LRA Joseph Kony, however, remains elusive but the ICC prosecutor Karim Khan recently requested the Judges at the pre-trial chamber II to hold a hearing to confirm charges against him in his absence.

According to the United Nations (UN), more than 100,000 people were killed by the LRA in Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, and the Central African Republic, and between 60,000 and 100,000 children were abducted and turned into child soldiers.

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