ICC judges in Ongwen case visit northern Uganda


KAMPALA. A panel of three judges of the International Criminal Court (ICC) who are hearing the trial of the former rebel commander of the Lord Resistance Army (LRA), Dominic Ongwen, have visited Northern Uganda, the location where the two-decade insurgency happened, to familiarize themselves with the crime scenes.

According to the press statement from the Public Affairs Unit of the ICC released Monday, the three judges who visited Northern Uganda are; Bertram Schmitt, Presiding Judge, Judge Péter Kovács, and Judge Raul C. Pangalangan.

The judges visited the sites of Pajule, Odek, Lukodi and Abok. At the time of the alleged attacks, the sites were being used as Internally Displaced Peoples camps (IDPs).
The historic visit of the scenes allegedly attacked and torched by Ongwen who is currently facing trial, was from June 3 to 9 June 2018.
“The judges considered that the visit would be useful and appropriate to gain an immediate impression of these locations after having heard the prosecution’s presentation of evidence at trial,” read in part the press statement from the ICC.

“The visit took place together with representatives of the Office of the Prosecutor, the Defence and the Legal Representatives of the victims in the case. The delegation also met with community leaders from the area,” the press statement further reads.
The visit comes after prosecution concluded presenting its 116 witnesses against Ongwen.

Ongwen’s case is currently under recess and it’s to resume on September 18 with Ongwen expected to start defending himself against the allegations.
He is facing 70 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity that he allegedly committed in northern Uganda that left hundreds of civilians dead and scores injured as their IDP camps were torched as the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels led by Joseph Kony faced off with UPDF soldiers.


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