The ICC’s chief prosecutor wants to revive the case against the Ugandan rebel commander in absentia as he has been evading arrest for nearly 20 years.
The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has sought to reopen the case against the fugitive Ugandan rebel commander joseph kooneyWho? keeps absconding Since an arrest warrant was issued in 2005 on charges of war crimes.
Prosecutor Karim Khan said he had asked judges for authorization to hold a hearing in his absence to confirm the charges against Kony, the head of the notorious Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).
“This is the first time since the inception of the ICC that my office has made such a request,” Khan said.
Kony began a bloody insurgency more than three decades ago seeking to enforce his own version of the Ten Commandments in northern Uganda, triggering a campaign of “terror” that spread to several neighboring countries.
The Hague-based ICC issued an arrest warrant for Kony in 2005 on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity, and in 2011 US President Barack Obama sent a small number of US troops to help regional forces try to capture him. Started
“However, this arrest warrant has not been executed till date. Mr. Kony has tried to evade judicial proceedings in this court for over 17 years despite repeated attempts,” Khan said in a statement.
“I have determined that it is both necessary and appropriate to seek the furtherance of proceedings against him in accordance with the Rome Statute,” the charter governing the ICC said.
Suspects cannot be prosecuted in the absence of the ICC, but it is possible to hold confirmation hearings when they are still fugitives, Khan explained.
The prosecutor said that confirming the charges against Kony would make it easier and faster to put him on trial.
Any trial involving Kony “would be a meaningful milestone for the victims of Kony’s crimes, who have waited patiently for justice for nearly two decades,” Khan said.
Began with a bloody insurgency in northern Uganda against President Yoweri Museveni LRA’s campaign of violence More than 100,000 people have been killed and 60,000 children have been abducted.
The violence eventually spread to Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the Central African Republic.
The ICC said the charges against Kony in the arrest warrant include murder, cruel treatment, slavery, rape and attacks against civilian populations.
In 2021, the ICC convicted an LRA child soldier-turned-commander, Dominic Ongwen, of war crimes and crimes against humanity and sentenced him to 25 years in prison.
He has appealed against the verdict and sentence, arguing that he was intimidated by his own history and still believes he was “influenced” by Connie’s spirit.
The ICC was founded in 2002 to bring perpetrators of the world’s worst crimes to justice, but has been criticized for selecting many of its cases from African countries.