As predicted in our August 19, 2011 article titled “ Trials of FDLR Leaders Face Hurdles” (click here) , the trials at the International Criminal Court at the Hague of FDLR leaders have started to collapse.
In a December 16, 2011 statement from the ICC, the judges have dismissed the case against Callixte Mbarushamina, the former Executive Secretary of FDLR, admitting that there are not enough proofs of his involvement in the crimes committed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) between January and December 2009.
The majority of the ICC judges even rejected the qualification of “crimes against humanity” by saying that (see ICC statement here):
“Although the Chamber found substantial grounds to believe that acts amounting to war crimes were perpetrated in five out of the twenty-five occasions identified by the Prosecutor, the Majority found that the evidence submitted was insufficient to be convinced of the existence of substantial grounds to believe that such acts were part of a course of conduct amounting to “an attack directed against the civilian population” pursuant to or in furtherance of an organisational policy to commit such attack, within the meaning of article 7 of the Rome Statute which defines crimes against humanity. Accordingly, the Majority found that there were not substantial grounds to believe that crimes against humanity were committed by the FDLR troops.”
The ICC is pursuing the cases against Callixte Mbaurshimana and two other leaders: Ignace Murwanashyaka, the former FDLR President and Straton Musoni, the former Vice-President. The last two are tried in Germany but their cases, that also fall under the ICC mandate, also remain very shaky. As AfroAmerica Network had found out in August 2011, it appears that the prosecutor has tough time linking the FDLR leaders to the crimes they are accused of.
The December 16, 2011 ruling confirms just that.
©2011. AfroAmerica Network.