ICC orders Congo ex-rebel leader to serve 30 years

World Today

Convicted war criminal Bosco Ntaganda of Congo remained emotionless as he listened to his sentence.

CGTN’s Kate Fisher reports.

“For a rape of civilians as a crime against humanity, and as a war crime, 28 years. For murder and attempted murder, as a crime against humanity and as a war crime, 30 years. For persecution as a crime against humanity, 30 years of imprisonment. “The overall sentence imposed on you shall, therefore, be 30 years of imprisonment,” Presiding Judge, Robert Fremr stated.

The 117-page judgment details the litany of crimes committed by the 46-year-old former rebel leader. They included murder, rape and the sexual slavery of children. In total 18 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity for his role in atrocities in a bloody ethnic conflict in the Ituri region of Congo from 2002-2003.

This is a landmark for the International criminal court. The 30-year sentence is the longest ever imposed by the court and Ntaganda is the first person to be convicted of sexual slavery. He’s the fourth person the court has convicted since its creation in 2002.

But Ntaganda’s lawyer said he doesn’t believe that conviction will hold. He says the judgment contains factual and legal errors and that he’s confident their appeal will be successful.

“He remains strong. Most people would fall apart but is not Bosco Ntaganda. He is at peace with himself. He believes that the manner in which he was portrayed in both the trial and this morning’s sentencing judgment is not the reality,” said defense lawyer, Stephane Bourgon.