The International Criminal Court on Friday upheld the acquittal of Congolese ex-militia leader Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui, on war crimes charges.
â€œThe Appeals Chamber by majority confirms the acquittal and rejects the (prosecution s) appeal,â€ Judge Sanji Mmasenono Monageng, Presiding Judge.
The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued its judgment confirming, by majority, Trial Chamber IIâ€™s decision of 18 December 2012 acquitting Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui of charges of crimes against humanity and war crimes.
Judges Ekaterina Trendafilova and Cuno Tarfusser adopted a joint dissenting opinion and found that the Appeals Chamber should have amended or reversed the Trial Chamberâ€™s decision and ordered a new trial before a different Chamber.
Judge Sanji Mmasenono Monageng, Presiding Judge in this appeal, read in open court a summary of the Appeals Chamber judgment. Judge Monageng explained that the Chamber examined the three grounds of appeal raised by the Prosecutor against the acquittal decision and that the majority of the Appeals Chamber judges, which includes herself, Judge Sang-Hyun Song and Judge Erkki Kourula, rejected the Prosecutorâ€™s appeal.
Chui had remained at the ICC ever since he was acquitted as the prosecution indicated it will appeal. However, after Friday’s decision by the judges to uphold his release from the ICC dragnet, another equally ominous fate awaited Chui: returning home to President Joseph Kabila’s death squads.
Chui, who was immediately seized by the Dutch police moments after being released from ICC, is set for deportation from the Hague back to the Congo, something his lawyers had opposed fearing their client’s security.
Chui had indicated he was comfortable either in Brussels or any other western country but not the graveyard that is DRC.