What you need to know:
- In February last year, Ongwen was found guilty of 61 offences comprising of crimes against humanity and war crimes that he committed against civilians in the early 2000s.
The International Criminal Court (ICC), has set December 15 to pass judgment in a case where Dominic Ongwen, a former commander of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), is appealing against a 25-year jail term .
Ongwen was found guilty of committing atrocities in northern Uganda more than 20 years ago.
In February last year, Ongwen was found guilty of 61 offences comprising of crimes against humanity and war crimes that he committed against civilians in the early 2000s.
He was subsequently sentenced to 25 years imprisonment. But being dissatisfied, he appealed against both the “conviction” and “sentence”.
“On 15 December 2022 at 11:30 (Hague time), in the case The Prosecutor v. Dominic Ongwen, the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court (“ICC” or “Court”) will deliver its judgment on the Defence’s appeals against Mr Ongwen’s conviction and sentence.” read in part the press statement from the public affairs unit of the global court. In the appeal, the defence raised 90 grounds consisting of alleged legal, factual and procedural errors relating to the conviction, and 11 grounds of appeal, alleging legal, factual and procedural errors relating to the sentence.
The judges who heard Ongwen’s appeal include Luz del Carmen Ibáñez Carranza (presiding judge), Piotr Hofmański, Solomy Bossa, Reine Alapini-Gansou and Gocha Lordkipanidze.
Ongwen, who is currently being held in detention in the Netherlands, became the first LRA rebel, an outfit headed by Joseph Kony, to be found culpable for the crimes committed in northern Uganda that left more than 100,000 people dead and more than 1.8m displaced.
The crimes were in regard to; attacks against the civilian population such as murder, attempted murder, torture, enslavement, outrages upon personal dignity, pillaging, destruction of property and persecution.
He was also found guilty of sexual crimes such as forced marriage, rape, sexual slavery, enslavement, forced pregnancy and outrages upon personal dignity he committed against seven women whom he abducted and placed into his household.
He had claimed to be a victim of Kony’s war since he was also abducted by rebels while still a child on his way to school and forced into rebellion.