Arusha, March 23, 2013 (FH) – Congolese rebel Bosco Ntaganda, wanted by the International Criminal Court since 2006, was transferred to the ICC Detention Facility in The Hague after surrendering himself to the US embassy in Rwanda.

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ICCNtaganda arrives at the ICC: On Monday, the US announced that Ntaganda had turned himself into its embassy in Rwanda and was asking to be sent to the ICC. Although neither the US nor Rwanda are States Parties to the ICC, Kigali and Washington lent support to have him transferred to the Court in The Hague. The ICC Prosecutor hailed the transfer, thanking the US, Rwandan and Dutch authorities for their cooperation. This is the first time an ICC suspect has turned himself in to the Court. The ICC has issued two arrest warrants for Ntaganda for crimes against humanity and war crimes. The charges against him include using rape as a weapon of war and conscripting child soldiers in Ituri (northeast Democratic Republic of Congo) and Kivu (eastern DRC) between 2002 and 2003.

Prosecutor issues message to LRA: ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda urged three wanted commanders of the rebel LRA to surrender to the ICC, saying they would get a fair trial and would not be sentenced to death if convicted.  She urged other members of the movement to “abandon violence, stop committing crimes and follow the bold steps of others before you who have returned home.” The message came in response to information that “members of the LRA are being misled that they will be killed or tortured by the ICC if they try to escape”. She reminded them that only the three LRA commanders, including Joseph Kony, are wanted by the ICC.

RWANDAMugesera protests his innocence: As his trial proceeded before the Rwandan High Court, linguist and former Rwandan politician Léon Mugesera denied he had planned genocide. He further claimed there had been no planning nor conspiracy to commit genocide. Extradited from Canada last year, he is accused of planning and inciting genocide through a November 1992 speech.


Ntaganda First Appearance: Ntaganda is due to appear before the ICC on Tuesday. He will be informed of the charges against him, and judges will schedule a date for confirmation of charges hearings.

Katanga appeals hearing: An appeals hearing is scheduled on Wednesday morning in the case of Congolese militiaman Germain Katanga, according to the ICC calendar. Katanga is appealing against a judges’ decision to separate his case from that of Mathieu Ngudjolo and modify the mode of liability with which he is charged.   JC