On May 23rd 2014, Trial Chamber II, ruling in the majority, sentenced Germain Katanga to a total of 12 years’ imprisonment. On March 7th 2014, Trial Chamber II found German Katanga guilty, as an accessory, within the meaning of article 25(3)(d) of the Rome Statute, of one count of crime against humanity (murder) and four counts of war crimes (murder, attacking a civilian population, destruction of property and pillaging) committed on February 24th 2003 during the attack on the village of Bogoro, in the Ituri district of the DRC. Katanga played a crucial role in the horrific attack that killed around 200 Hema civilians. Judge Bruno Cotte even stated, “The attackers literally carved their victims up limb from limb.”
However, although I find his attacks extremely disturbing, he served 7 years in the ICC’s detention centre before and during his trial. This amount of time is unreasonable for a person who has not been found guilty yet. Something needs to be done regarding this slow justice. Imagine if he was truly innocent and ended up being innocent- he would have spent 7 years of his life in detention for a crime he did not commit. This would never occur in the United States! The judges try to make up for this by allowing the 7 years to count towards his sentence.
Also, I would like to point out how I do not agree with 12 years. They find a man guilty of playing a crucial role in killing around 200 civilians and that’s all he gets?! In America certain drug charges carry a higher sentence than that!
Picture: Germain Katanga