Acquitted by the ICC but still not free

04 April 2014 by Tjitske Lingsma, The Hague (The Netherlands)

Since he was acquitted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in December 2012, the fate of the Congolese ex-militia leader Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui remains unsettled. Last week he appeared in a Dutch district court to appeal against a decision to deny him asylum in the Netherlands, showing how the ICC, like its ad hoc predecessors, has not prepared for possible acquittals.

"I miss my children and my wife. I would love to live with them and see how my kids grow up. My mother is over 80 years old, and I would like to take care of her. I can't take it anymore, living separated from them," said Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui on 25 March, when he was given the opportunity to address the Dutch district court in Amsterdam, pleading in his asylum case. "I did not come here to the Netherlands to ask for asylum. I came here for a court case," he told the three Dutch judges.

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