Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Confirmation of Charges Hearings continue in The Prosecutor vs. Bahr Idriss Abu Garda

Update on the Prosecution (as of 10/27/09):
The Prosecution, headed by Ms. Fatou Bensouda, described the attack on Peacekeeprs at MGS Haskanita which took place on September 29, 2007 as a deliberate, intentional, and planned attack that resulted in the death of 12 AMIS personnel. Eight were injured as a result of the attack.

Witnesses for the Prosecution

The Court also received the first out of three Prosecution witnesses, Witness 416. He testified it was impossible to mistake the AMIS camp for anything else due to the difference in uniforms between AMIS personnel, rebels, and civilians. Witness 416 further attested to the pillaging that took place at the sight in the aftermath of the attacks, as well as to the theft of automobiles, personal goods, food and ammunition.

On Thursday, October 22, 2009 a second Prosecution witness appeared in Court. Witness 466 expressed that the AMIS mission (as he understood it) revolved around ensuring the Darfur Peace agreement was held up, as well as monitoring or safeguarding the delivery of humanitarian supplies in Darfur. While he testified the attack on MGS Haskanita took place on September 29, 2007, much of his testimony was held in a private session.

Update on the Defense (as of 10/27/09):
-Abu Garda did not plan, aid, assist, or partake in the attacks
-Mr. Abu Garda was in Libya, not Sudan, and was traveling throughout Africa as part of JEM political meetings prior to the attack. He did not threaten to or plan an attack against MGS Haskanita.
-The evidence of the OTP is unreliable, incomplete and deficient.

For more information about the hearings for Abu Garda and the investigationsin Darfur, check out AMICC's website.

A Confirmation of Charges Hearing is not a trial in itself and does not erode the presumption of innocence of the defendant; rather, it allows the ICC to hear the Prosecution, Defense, and Victims’ perspectives of the crime in order to then judge whether or not the case merits going to trial at the ICC

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