Germain Katanga in the avenue of certainty

09 July 2014 by Benjamin Duerr, The Hague (The Netherlands)

Former militia leader Germain Katanga, who was convicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in March, has expressed his “sincere regrets” to victims in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and has decided to accept the court’s verdict. The reasons for this unusual move – made public on 25 June in a press release announcing the simultaneous withdrawal of the prosecutor’s appeal – were not provided, leaving a number of questions.

In a letter signed on 23 June, Katanga commits not to appeal the sentence. “I express my sincere regrets to those who suffered due to my behavior, including the victims of Bogoro,” the letter concludes. Katanga was found guilty, as an accessory to the crime, for his responsibility in an attack on the village of Bogoro in Eastern DRC, on 24 February 2003, that left 200 people killed. His forces participated to the raid. Katanga was convicted in March and sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment in May [IJT-159, IJT-160IJT-161].

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