Briefing Paper: The Trial of Dominic Ongwen at the ICC: Closing Statements
On Tuesday, March 10, the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague will begin hearing closing statements in the trial of Dominic Ongwen, a former commander in the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebel group headed by Joseph Kony. Ongwen is charged by the ICC with 70 counts of crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in northern Uganda.
Ongwen surrendered himself to United States forces in the Central African Republic in January 2015, and his trial before the ICC began in December 2016. He was previously the leader of the Sinia brigade, one of four brigades of the LRA. He was abducted by the LRA in 1988 when he was 13 or 14 years old, but then rose through the ranks to become one of its top leaders.
This marks the sixth case to reach this stage at the ICC. It is also the first case in the situation of Uganda to be tried before the court. This background paper summarizes the main issues in the trial, including evidence presented by the prosecution, defense, and victims’ representatives, with hyperlinks to relevant summaries from our trial monitoring website: www.IJMonitor.org.
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