Mbarushimana Confirmation of Charges Hearing Set for July 4

The confirmation of charges hearing for Callixte Mbarushimana has been scheduled for July 4, 2011.  Mbarushimana was arrested October 11, 2010 in Paris and transferred to The Hague in January 25, 2011.  The press release from the International Criminal Court, (ICC) describes the case this way:

According to the warrant of arrest, Mr Mbarushimana is allegedly criminally responsible, under article 25(3)(d) of the Rome Statute of the ICC, for five counts of crimes against humanity (murder, torture, rape, inhumane acts and persecution) and six counts of war crimes (attacks against the civilian population, destruction of property, murder, torture, rape and inhuman treatment).

These crimes were allegedly committed in the context of an armed conflict which waged, in the Kivu Provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), from 20 January to 25 February 2009, between the Forces Démocratiques pour la Libération du Rwanda – Forces Combattantes Abacunguzi (FDLR) and the Forces Armées de la République Démocratique du Congo (FARDC) together with the Rwandan Defence Forces, and from 2 March to 31 December 2009, between the FDLR and the FARDC, at times in conjunction with the United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC). A series of attacks, both widespread and systematic, were allegedly carried out on a large scale by FDLR troops in the period between January and September 2009, against the civilian population of North and South Kivu.

Mr Mbarushimana is alleged to have been, since July 2007, the Executive Secretary of the FDLR. Pre-Trial Chamber I found that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the FDLR leadership decided to launch an offensive targeting the civilian population of the Kivus in order to ultimately obtain political concessions, and that an international campaign to extort concessions of political power for the FDLR was put in place, as part of the implementation of the common plan. The Chamber also found that there are reasonable grounds to believe that Mr Mbarushimana, as Executive Secretary of the FDLR “Steering Committee” (Comité Directeur), personally and intentionally contributed to the common plan, organising and conducting the above-mentioned international campaign by regularly using international and local media channels.

The situation in the DRC was referred to the Court by the Government of the DRC in April 2004. The Prosecutor opened an investigation in June 2004. Besides the case against Callixte Mbarushimana, three other cases are currently ongoing in the context of this situation: The Prosecutor v. Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, The Prosecutor v. Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo Chuiand The Prosecutor v. Bosco Ntaganda. The Office of the Prosecutor is also conducting investigations in four other situations: Uganda; the Central African Republic; Darfur, Sudan; and Kenya.