ICC seeks audit of Ongwen’s wealth

In this file photo taken on December 06, 2016 shows Dominic Ongwen, a senior commander in Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), looks on at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. PHOTO/AFP 

What you need to know:

  • International Criminal Court (ICC) sentenced Dominic Ongwen, a Ugandan child soldier who became a commander of the notorious Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), to 25 years in jail for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
  • Dominiuc Ongwen, 45, was found guilty in February of 61 charges including murders, rapes and sexual enslavement during a reign of terror in the early 2000s by the LRA, led by the fugitive Joseph Kony.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has called for an inquiry into the financial viability of jailed rebel commander of the Lord’s Resistance Army Dominic Ongwen to establish whether he has any properties that can be sold to compensate the 4,095 victims of the insurgency.

“For the foregoing reasons, the chamber (court) hereby, instructs the registrar to review Ongwen’s current financial situation and report back to the chamber by September 6, 2021,” the three justices of the ICC, who presided over Ongwen’s case, wrote.

The justices include Bertram Schmitt, Peter Kovacs, and Raul C Pangalangan.
On Thursday last week, the ICC handed Ongwen 25 years imprisonment for his involvement in the Kony insurgency that left at least 100,000 people dead and more than two million displaced.

It is the practice of the ICC that at the end of a trial, the Trial Chamber (court), may order a convicted person to pay compensation to the victims for the crimes of which he/she was found guilty.

Alternatively, state parties to the Rome Statute have established a Trust Fund for victims of crimes within the jurisdiction of the ICC and for their families to raise the funds if the convict does not have sufficient resources to do so.

The court also stated that considering that the crimes committed by Ongwen happened more than 15 years ago, the compensation should be efficient and expeditious. The court has also ordered the office of the prosecutor and relevant authorities of Uganda to make submissions on any of the issues by September 6.

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