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ICC confirms conviction of Ugandan insurgent chief Ongwen

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The Worldwide Legal Court docket (ICC) on Thursday upheld the conviction for struggle crimes and crimes towards humanity of Dominic Ongwen, a Ugandan little one soldier who grew to become a high commander of the Lord’s Resistance Military (LRA).

“The appeals chamber rejects all of the grounds of enchantment offered by the defence and unanimously confirms the choice on the guilt of Mr Ongwen,” stated presiding decide Luz del Carmen Ibáñez Carranza, including that the court docket would rule afterward Thursday on the insurgent chief’s enchantment towards his 25-year jail sentence.

Dominic Ongwen, kidnapped on his approach to faculty on the age of 9 by the Lord’s Resistance Military (LRA), led by fugitive Joseph Kony, was convicted final yr of homicide, rape and sexual slavery in northern Uganda within the early 2000s.

The ICC doesn’t know the precise age of Dominic Ongwen, who seems to be in his 40s.

He had appealed towards his conviction and sentence on the ICC, primarily based in The Hague, six years after his trial started.

Based in Uganda within the Eighties by former choirboy Joseph Kony to ascertain a Ten Commandments regime, the LRA terrorised giant areas of central Africa for 30 years, kidnapping youngsters, maiming civilians on a large scale and enslaving ladies.

“The appeals chamber needs to recognise the acute struggling endured by the victims of Dominic Ongwen’s crimes throughout the interval coated by the fees,” the decide stated.

Ongwen’s attorneys had argued earlier this yr that his conviction and sentence ought to be quashed as a result of he was himself a sufferer of the LRA as a baby soldier.

“Dominic Ongwen was, and nonetheless is, a baby,” his lawyer Krispus Ayena Odongo advised the court docket in February, including that his shopper nonetheless believed he was “possessed” by the spirit of Joseph Kony.

The ICC prosecutor lately requested judges to substantiate the fees towards Joseph Kony, who has been on the run for greater than 17 years, so that when captured, his trial can happen as quickly as attainable.

– Scapegoat’ –

The LRA is liable for the deaths of over 100,000 individuals and the kidnapping of 60,000 youngsters, turning boys into docile troopers and ladies into intercourse slaves.

Mr Ongwen was discovered responsible of 61 counts of struggle crimes and crimes towards humanity, together with compelled being pregnant – a primary for the ICC – but in addition homicide, rape, sexual slavery and conscripting little one troopers.

At first occasion, the ICC discovered that Mr Ongwen was not mentally ailing, regardless of his abduction and brutality by the hands of the LRA and that the “White Ant” – his nom de guerre – had personally ordered the bloodbath of civilians in refugee camps between 2002 and 2005.

The defence had appealed on greater than 100 grounds, together with that Mr Ongwen was a “scapegoat” for the insurgent motion.

“The judgment is stuffed with errors primarily based on legislation, reality and process,” lawyer Krispus Ayena Odongo stated in court docket paperwork.

Joseph Kony ought to be within the dock, as he was the one who selected the distribution of ladies and youngsters as intercourse slaves, the defence argued.