The Hague, April 21, 2011 (FH) - A former secret agent of the Congolese government, Pierre Mbodina, used his testimony before the International Criminal Court (ICC) to complain about his detention in Kinshasa.

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Pierre Mbodina testified for Germain Katanga's defence from April 18 to 21.

Germain Katanga, commander of the Force de résistance patriotique en Ituri (Patriotic Resistance Force in Ituri, FRPI) is accused of crimes against humanity and war crimes, notably for his alleged role in the attack of Bogoro on February 24, 2003 where over 200 people were killed.

Known as Pichou, Pierre Mbodina was a founding member of the Front des Nationalistes Integrationnistes (FNI). He was arrested in 2005 for his alleged complicity in the kidnapping and murder of eight UN peacekeepers and remains in custody at Makala prison in Kinshasa although there are no proceedings against him.

He started his testimony by protesting against his detention in Kinshasa.

Before him, witness Floribert Njabu, former President of the FNI also incarcarated at Makala prison had also complained: "As is the usual practice in our countries, someone is first of all arrested and the reasons come afterwards.  I was arrested.  They   never told me why I had been arrested, except to say that it was in connection with the murder of nine UN blue helmets.  After that we were told that we were being prosecuted for offences against state security. And since this was still not enough, they changed once again and started talking about crimes against humanity.This means that I do not know with any certainty the crimes for which I am being charged, and this has been going on for almost six years and 20 days so far", he told the judges.

The trial will resume on May 2.


© Hirondelle News Agency