[QODLink]
Africa

DR Congo rebel jailed over village massacre

ICC passes sentence on Germain Katanga for supplying weapons used in the 2003 massacre of hundreds of people in Bogoro.

Last updated: 23 May 2014 14:31
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

Germain Katanga, a rebel commander from the Democratic Republic of Congo, has been sentenced to 12 years in jail by the the International Criminal Court for arming an ethnic group that carried out a 2003 village massacre.

"The chamber sentences Germain Katanga to 12 years in prison," presiding Judge Bruno Cotte told the Hague-based court on Friday in its second sentencing since opening in 2003.

The almost seven years that Katanga has already spend in detention will be deducted from the sentence, he said.

Katanga was found guilty of having procured the weapons - including guns and machetes - used in the massacre, but was cleared of direct involvement. He was found not guilty of rape, sexual slavery and using child soldiers.

The Coalition for the International Criminal Court, a global network of civil society groups, welcomed the sentence as a step towards ending impunity.

“With this sentence, victims of the attack on Bogoro village have obtained a measure of important justice for the crimes committed against them, their families and fellow citizens,” said William Pace, the coalition convenor.

"Judges are now to decide on reparations that will help rehabilitate victims, their families and affected communities, allowing them to move forward from the crimes they suffered.”
 

But Catherine Denis, from the victims' legal team, said many victims were not going to understand how Katanga was given such a short sentence.

Earlier in May, the prosecution asked that judges sentence Katanga to 22 to 25 years imprisonment, arguing the sentence had to be severe enough to provide justice to victims. 

The defence had sought leniency, providing evidence that Katanga had been involved in the local peace processes.

Both the prosecution and defence have appealed against the conviction, and can also appeal against the sentence decision.

Congolese authorities arrested and surrendered the 36-year-old to the ICC in 2007.

The court's first conviction was passed in 2012, to DR Congo's Thomas Lubanga for using child soldiers.

325

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Your chance to be an investigative journalist in Al Jazeera’s new interactive game.
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Featured
Private citizens take initiative to help 'irregular' migrants, accusing governments of excessive focus on security.
Indonesia's cassava plantations are being killed by mealybugs, and thousands of wasps have been released to stop them.
Violence in Ain al-Arab has prompted many Kurdish Syrians to flee to Turkey, but others are returning to battle ISIL.
Unelected representatives quietly iron out logistics of massive TPP and TTIP deals among US, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.
Led by students concerned for their future with 'nothing to lose', it remains to be seen who will blink first.