DRC: ICC order will help Katanga’s victims to rebuild their lives
Responding to today’s International Criminal Court (ICC) order awarding reparations to victims in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Germain Katanga case, Solomon Sacco, Amnesty International’s Senior Legal Adviser said:
“Today's decision by the ICC is an important step towards addressing the horrific suffering of the victims of the atrocities committed by Germain Katanga including murder, destruction of property and pillaging.”
“Providing full and effective reparation will help the victims of these war crimes and crimes against humanity to rebuild their lives. But we must not forgot that there are hundreds of thousands of other victims of similar crimes in the DRC, and whom the ICC will not be able to assist.”
“Today’s decision should be a catalyst to end this impunity and demand that the DRC government ensures justice, truth and reparation for all victims across the country.”
Today, the ICC awarded individual and collective reparations to the victims of crimes committed by Germain Katanga on 24 February 2003 during an attack on the village of Bogoro in the Ituri district of the DRC.
The judges awarded 297 victims with a symbolic compensation of USD 250 per victim as well as collective reparations in the form of support for housing, support for income generating activities, education aid and psychological support. Because of Mr. Katanga’s indigence, the Trust Fund for Victims was invited to consider using its resources for the reparations and to present an implementation plan by 27 June 2017.
Germain Katanga was sentenced by the ICC on 23 May 2014, to a total of 12 years' imprisonment after being found guilty of crimes against humanity and war crimes committed on 24 February 2003 during the attack on the village of Bogoro. The time Katanga spent in detention prior to being convicted was deducted from the sentence imposed.
On 13 November 2015, three judges of the ICC Appeals Chamber reviewed Katanga's sentence and decided to reduce it. On 19 December 2015, he was transferred to a DRC prison to serve the remainder of his ICC sentence, which he completed on 18 January 2016. Germain Katanga remains imprisoned in the DRC as he is currently on trial domestically before the Haute Cour Militaire for other alleged crimes.