DRC militia leader holds out for Dutch asylum

21 April 2015 by Tjitske Lingsma, The Hague (The Netherlands)

Over two years since his initial acquittal by the International Criminal Court (ICC), former Congolese militia leader Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui is still in the Netherlands fighting another legal battle: to get asylum in the ICC’s host country.

The ICC trial chamber acquitted Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui (Photo: Flickr/ICC-CPI)
Image caption: 
The ICC trial chamber acquitted Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui (Photo: Flickr/ICC-CPI)

His initial asylum request from 2012 was denied [IJT-156], but Ngudjolo was allowed to stay in the Netherlands awaiting outcome of his ICC appeals procedure. In February 2015, the appeals chamber confirmed acquittal, putting a final end to a trial that started in 2009 and saw him charged with crimes against humanity and war crimes during an attack in Bogoro village in DR Congo’s eastern Ituri district.

After the ruling, the Netherlands put him on a plane ready to take off for DR Congo, but his lawyer managed to file a new asylum claim and the ex-militia leader was escorted off the aircraft. The new claim was rejected a few days later. Last week a Dutch district court heard Ngudjolo’s appeal.

“The moment I return to the Democratic Republic of Congo, I run the risk of persecution. I will disappear without a trace or be arrested,” he told judges.

Want to read more?

If you subscribe to a free membership, you can read this article and explore our full archive, dating back to 1997.

Subscribe now

Related articles

article
21 December 2011 by Thijs Bouwknegt

Being the ICC's Chief Prosecutor is a delicate and politically sensitivejob.ForLuisMorenoOcampo it has been "the best job in the world." Fatou Bensouda will be taking over his office in June. She inhe

article
07 December 2011 by Thijs Bouwknegt

December 7, 2011 Ivory Coast is the latest playgroundoftheInternationalCriminal Court. This week the courtroom in The Hague became its theatre of justice. Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo proudly p

article
07 December 2011 by Richard Walker

Four Congolese witnesses testifying at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, find themselves caught in a legal wrangle, which could at once set a legal precedent and make them the last

article
07 December 2011 by Lindy Janssen

Brazil is booming. The economy is expanding and the country is getting ready to host the Football World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016. But the Latin American giant has not even begun dealing wi

article
07 December 2011 by Radosa Milutinovic

The primary purpose of the retrial of Ramush Haradinaj, as proclaimed by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in its appeal judgement in July, should have been to hear testimonies of two "key" witnesses who proved unwilling to testify in the original trial in 2007. Almost four months into the retrial which started in mid-August, its stated aim has not yet been achieved.