Arusha, August 23, 2013 (FH) – The special court charged with trying former Chadian president Hissène Habré on Monday started its investigations with a two-week mission to Chad. At the International Criminal Court (ICC), Congolese senator Jean-Pierre Bemba’s defence on Tuesday resumed presenting its case.

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Investigations start in Habré case: Investigating magistrates of the special court set up in Senegal to try former Chadian president Hissène Habré on Monday began a two-week mission to Chad. They will hear victims and witnesses for both the prosecution and defence. They also plan to visit certain sites. Habré, who has been living in exile in Senegal for 22 years, was arrested on June 30 at his Dakar home. Two days later, he was charged with crimes against humanity, war crimes and torture, committed between 1982 and 1990 when he was in power in Chad.


Bemba trial resumes: The trial of Congolese senator Jean-Pierre Bemba resumed Tuesday with the defence presenting a new witness. The witness, given a pseudonym to protect his identity, testified by videoconference, and several parts of his testimony were heard behind closed doors. The Congolese politician is charged with crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in Chad in 2002 and 2003 by members of his former rebel movement, the Movement for the Liberation of Congo (MLC).

Bosco Ntaganda requests provisional release: Also on Tuesday, the defence for Congolese rebel leader Bosco Ntaganda requested their client’s release, saying his detention was not justified. The ICC suspects Ntaganda of crimes against humanity and war crimes committed on his orders in Ituri, northeast Democratic Republic of Congo, between September 2002 and September 2003. His lawyer, Marc Desalliers, submits that Ntaganda, who gave himself up to the Court, does not intend to flee justice.


Agathon Rwasa accused of genocide: Burundian judicial authorities said Thursday that Congolese Tutsi refugees in Burundi have filed a plaint against former Hutu rebel leader Agathon Rwasa for “genocide, destruction and looting”. The Banyamulenge (name given to Tutsis from South Kivu province in eastern DRC) want Rwasa tried for the August 2004 massacre of some 160 refugees in Gatumba camp, west of the Burundian capital Bujumbura.


Congo-Brazzaville general charged in France: Also on Thursday, Congolese general Norbert Dabira was charged in Paris with crimes against humanity in a case concerning the “Brazzaville Beach” disappeared people. In this case, opened in France in 2002, investigating magistrates are trying to shed light on the disappearance in 1999 of 350 Congolese from the Beach, which is Brazzaville’s main port on the River Congo.