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Dominic Ongwen’s appeal hearing scheduled for next month

The ICC on May 6, 2021, sentenced Ongwen to 25 years in jail after convicting him on 61 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity. The crimes were committed in Northern Uganda between July 1, 2002, and December 31, 2005.

Dominic Ongwen during the delivery of the sentence before the International Criminal Court on 6 May. File Photo

KAMPALA, UGANDA: The International Criminal Court-ICC Appeals Chamber has fixed February 14 to 18, for hearing the oral submissions and observations on the appeal against the conviction and sentencing of Dominic Ongwen.

The ICC sentenced the former Sinia Brigade Commander of the Lord’s Resistance Army-LRA, Ongwen on May 6, 2021, to 25 years in jail after convicting him on 61 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity. The crimes were committed in Northern Uganda between July 1, 2002, and December 31, 2005.

Ongwen’s defense team led by Crispus Ayena Odongo filed its appeal briefs against the conviction and sentencing of Ongwen on October 21 and 26 last year, while the prosecutor and the participating victims also filed their observations on the appeals on the same dates.

According to the court order signed by the presiding Judge Luz del Carmen Ibanez Carranza on November 17, the Appeals Chamber finds it appropriate to hold a hearing to receive oral submissions and observations by the parties and participants, and by amici curiae if any, on the appeals.

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Carmen adds that scheduled dates are shortly after the expiry of the time limit stipulated in the Chambers Practice Manual.

Maria Kamara Mabinty, the ICC Outreach Coordinator for East Africa said in an interview that the Judges will be hearing the submissions and observations of the parties and participants on the various grounds for which Ongwen presented to the Judges. Kamara says they will relay the live feeds of the appeal hearing to the locals in different parts of Northern Uganda.

Ongwen was among the five top LRA commanders indicted by the ICC for war crimes and crimes against humanity. Others are the elusive LRA leader Joseph Kony and Vincent Otti.

The judges terminated the proceedings against Raska Lukwiya and Okot Odhiambo after confirming their deaths.


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