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Katanga appeals withdrawn by Prosecutor and Defence

 

Germain Katanga in the courtroom of the International Criminal Court in The Hague © AFP

 

On the 25th of June, the Defence for Germain Katanga and the Office of the Prosecutor both withdrew their appeals against the ICC judgment, in the case The Prosecutor v. Germain Katanga. Katanga was found guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in 2003 during the attack on the village of Bogoro, in the Ituri district of the DRC, and sentenced to 12 years imprisonment. The Defence also withdrew its appeal against the 12 year sentence handed down to the former Congolese militia leader.

ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda discontinued the appeal in the interest of victims who would finally see justice done and because of the sincere regret and acceptance expressed by Germain Katanga, towards those affected by his conduct.

Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice (WIGJ) expressed concern and disappointment regarding the prosecutor’s decision of withdrawing an appeal of Katanga’s acquittal, over charges of sexual slavery and rape. This decision was referred to as a “step backwards in the body of jurisprudence on sexual violence.”

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