ICC postpones hearing of Central African Republic case to September

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The new headquarters of the International Criminal Court , ICC, in The Hague, The Netherlands
Patrice-Edouard Ngaissona (C) of the Central African Republic, looks on during his initial appearance before the judges of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague on January 25, 2019, following his extradition from France on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity. (Photo credit KOEN VAN WEEL/AFP/Getty Images)

The International Criminal Court postponed the beginning of the confirmation hearing in the case of alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the Central African Republic from June 18 to September 19, 2019.

The decision was made following a request by the Office of the Prosecutor in order to ensure the protection of victims and witnesses.

The accused in the case are Alfred Yekatom and Patrice-Edouard Ngaïssona.

Yekatom and Ngaïssona are accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in various locations in the Central African Republic between December 5, 2013, and December 2014.

Yekatom was allegedly commanding a group of around 3,000 members which operated within the Anti-Balaka movement. Ngaïssona was the most senior leader and the “National General Coordinator” of the Anti-Balaka.

Yekatom was surrendered to the ICC by the authorities of the Central African Republic on November 17 2018.

Ngaïssona was transferred to ICC custody on January 23, 2019, after the completion of necessary national proceedings in France, where he was arrested on December 12, 2018.

The purpose of the confirmation of charges hearing is to determine whether there is enough evidence to establish substantial grounds to believe that an individual committed each of the crimes contained in the arrest warrant.

If the charges are confirmed, in full or in part, the case will be transferred to a Trial Chamber, which will conduct the trial.

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