Friday, December 11, 2009
The Prosecutor vs. Germain Katanga & Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui - Brief Notes on the Trial
Nov. 25, Day 2: The first Court witness, the Head of the Office of he Prosecutor (OTP) Investigation Team, was called to testify. He presented information on the conditions under which the team conducted its investigations and the challenges they faced. As well, he explained the methods the team used to investigate, the selection process in obtaining evidence, and the review of potentially exonerating evidence. The Judges, the Prosecution, the Legal Representatives of Victims and the Defense teams asked questions.
Nov. 26, Day 3: The first witness from the OTP, a resident of Bogoro at the time of the attack, was called to testify. He provided information on the topography of Bogoro (ie: the ethnic groups present in the area, the number of residents, etc.) and on the Bogoro Institute itself which was occupied by soldiers from the Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC).
Nov. 27, Day 4: In a closed session, the same witness shed light on incidents which happened to women and young girls. He further spoke of pillaging and the burning of houses, testifying that most houses were destroyed or raised to the grounds after the February 24, 2003 events.
Nov. 30, Day 5: The Defense teams started a cross-examination of the OTP’s witness. The witness testified there were about 200 civilian deaths. The Defense’s cross-examination was cut short as the hearing was adjourned early due to Judge Cotte having to attend a doctor’s appointment.
Dec. 1, Day 6: The Defense teams continued their cross-examination of the witness. The witness stated that soldiers and civilians in Bogoro had different weapons: only soldiers were allowed guns while civilians had bladed weapons such as machetes. He further testified on burials, languages spoken in the area, ethnic inheritance and the presence of women and children in the Institute.
Dec. 2, Day 7: The trial was suspended until January 26, 2010 given that Judge Christine Van den Wyngaert had a traffic accident the evening before.