ICC gives  Ongwen 3 hours to  mitigate sentence

Friday March 26 2021
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Dominic Ongwen

By Anthony Wesaka

 The International Criminal Court (ICC) has allocated three hours to convicted former Lord Resistance Army (LRA) commander  Dominic Ongwen and his lawyers to mitigate his would-be sentence, which will be pronounced in the near future.

On February 4, Ongwen was found guilty of 61 offences of war crimes and crimes against humanity that he committed between 2003 and 2004 in Northern Uganda under rebellion leader Joseph Kony.
However, the Chamber reserved his sentencing for another date. 

He was facing 70 counts in total.
“For the foregoing reasons, the Chamber hereby schedules the hearing on sentence for Wednesday, April 14 and April 15 at 9.30 hours,” reads in part a communication from The Hague-based court.
Adding: “The parties and participants shall be allocated time for their oral submissions as follows:-prosecution: three hours;-legal representatives of victims: 1.5 hours to divide between them; and-defence, including Dominic Ongwen himself: three hours.”

During the mitigation session, the chief ICC prosecutor, Ms Fatou Bensouda will move court to pass a deterrent sentence against Ongwen while the defence lawyers led by Mr Krispus Ayena Odongo will ask for a lenient sentence on his behalf.
It’s after the mitigation session that the court will set a date for passing its sentence against Ongwen.
The Rome Statute does not provide for a death penalty as one of its punishments.

Their sentences range up to 30 years imprisonment and under exceptional circumstances, a life imprisonment or a fine.
The crimes were in regard to attacks against the civilian population, murder, attempted murder, torture, enslavement, outrages upon personal dignity, pillaging, destruction of property and persecution.

Further, the crimes Ongwen was found guilty of, were in respect to the Internally Displaced Peoples camps of Pajule (10 October 2003), Odek (29 April 2004), Lukodi (on or about 19 May 2004) and Abok (8 June 2004).
Ongwen’s mitigation session will be heard by justices Bertram Schmitt, Péter Kovács and Raul Cano Pangalangan.