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Overview

On the Docket

Case

The Prosecutor v. Alfred Yekatom and Patrice-Edouard Ngaïssona.

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Case Description

ICC Case Brief

The case of The Prosecutor v. Alfred Yekatom and Patrice-Edouard Ngaïssona at the International Criminal Court (ICC) is a significant trial addressing alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Central African Republic (CAR). Alfred Yekatom, a former corporal in the Central African armed forces and later a member of parliament, and Patrice-Edouard Ngaïssona, alleged to be a senior leader of the Anti-Balaka group, faced numerous charges related to their roles in the conflict.

Yekatom was arrested after an incident in the CAR parliament and was transferred to the ICC on November 17, 2018. Ngaïssona was arrested in France on December 12, 2018, and transferred to the ICC in January 2019. Both defendants made their initial appearances at the ICC shortly after their arrests.

The charges against Yekatom and Ngaïssona are extensive and severe. Yekatom faces 10 counts of war crimes and 11 counts of crimes against humanity, while Ngaïssona faces 16 counts of war crimes and 16 counts of crimes against humanity. These charges include directing attacks against civilians, murder, attacks on religious sites, deportation, forcible transfer and displacement of populations, persecution, and the enlistment and use of children under 15 in hostilities. Additionally, Ngaïssona was charged with rape as both a war crime and a crime against humanity.

The trial commenced on February 16, 2021. During the proceedings, the ICC has taken steps to involve victims, allowing them to apply for participation in the trial and seek reparations in case of a conviction. The charges confirmed for trial involve crimes allegedly committed in various locations in the CAR, including attacks on the Muslim population, destruction of religious buildings, and forced displacement.

The ICC combined the cases against Yekatom and Ngaïssona, as the judges deemed that the crimes were part of the same overall attack and conflict. They expected the evidence against both suspects to be substantially the same and found that the joint trial would not prejudice the defendants, instead enhancing the fairness and expeditiousness of the proceedings.

Panel

Mindru Bianca (she/her)

Radu Sonia (she/her)

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