Three ICC witnesses in continued legal limbo

28 May 2014 by IJT

The International Criminal Court (ICC) appeals chamber ordered last week the registrar to “immediately implement” the deportation of three Congolese witnesses detained at the ICC’s detention unit for three years. 

One of the men, Floribert Ndjabu, has been on hunger strike last five weeks [IJT 159],  protesting against his stalled asylum bid in The Netherlands. The three men asked for asylum after they were flown in March 2011 from Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to The Netherlands to testify in defence of the ICC suspect Germain Katanga. 

Meanwhile, the highest Dutch body for asylum matters has been asked by the goverment to lift a ban on sending the witnesses back to their country. In October last year, a district court had ruled the Dutch government “rightly” refused them asylum since it was “likely” the three men were involved in crimes against humanity. But at the same time, the court agreed that the men could not be returned to the DRC, since they risk not being given a fair trial. 

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