ICC Pre-Trial Chamber II separates Dominic Ongwen case from Kony et al. case
Single Judge Ekaterina Trendafilova, on behalf of Pre-Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court (ICC), severed the proceedings against Dominic Ongwen from the case of The Prosecutor v. Joseph Kony, Vincent Otti, Okot Odhiambo and Dominic Ongwen.
As the three other suspects in the case have not appeared or have not been apprehended yet, the Chamber deemed it necessary to separate the case so as not to delay the pre-trial proceedings against Mr Ongwen. After having consulted the Prosecutor, the Chamber decided not to proceed against the other three suspects in absentia. Joseph Kony, Vincent Otti and Okot Odhiambo remain at large, almost ten years after the issuance of the warrants of arrest.
This decision does not in any way affect the rights of the victims accepted to participate in the case of the Kony et al. case. The Chamber will, in due course and in a separate decision, address the issue of victims’ participation in the Ongwen case.
On 16 January 2015, Dominic Ongwen was surrendered to the ICC’s custody and transferred to the ICC Detention Centre on 21 January 2015. His initial appearance before the Court took place on 26 January 2015. The beginning of the confirmation of charges hearing – a preliminary step to decide whether the case will be referred to a trial or not – in respect of Dominic Ongwen was provisionally scheduled for 24 August 2015.
Dominic Ongwen was the alleged Brigade Commander of the Sinia Brigade of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). On 8 July 2005, ICC Judges issued an arrest warrant against Mr Ongwen for 3 counts of crimes against humanity (murder; enslavement; inhumane acts of inflicting serious bodily injury and suffering) and 4 counts of war crimes (murder; cruel treatment of civilians; intentionally directing an attack against a civilian population; pillaging) allegedly committed on or about 20 May 2004 at the Lukodi IDP Camp in the Gulu District.