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Dominic Ongwen Could Face Sexual Crimes Charges :: Uganda Radionetwork

Dominic Ongwen Could Face Sexual Crimes Charges

Prosecutors at the International Criminal Court ICC are in Northern Uganda conducting investigations that could see detained former LRA commander, Dominic Ongwen charged with fresh charges.
Dominic Ongwen During the Initial Appearence at ICC on January 26

Audio 5

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Fatou Bensouda, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) says Ongwen could face fresh related to sexual slavery and other sexual related crimes.

Dominic Ongwen whose confirmation of charges hearing is scheduled for January 2016 is at the International Criminal Court\'s detention center at Hague.

Bensouda, told Uganda Radio Network that if they succeed in getting the required evidence from Northern Uganda, the crimes will be part of new charges her office intends to expand against Dominic Ongwen.

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The Office of The Prosecutor (OTP) of the International Criminal Court resumed investigations in Northern Uganda after Dominic Ongwen, alleged commander of Sinia Brigade of the Lord\'s Resistance Army (LRA) was surrendered to the custody of the court in January 2015.

Bensouda says the latest activities aim at refreshing the seven charges related to War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity for which Dominic Ongwen was indicted in 2005.

The others are to re-establish contacts with potential witnesses expected to testify against Dominic Ongwen and review documentary evidence to support the existing charges.

Asked whether the scope of the new charges will include crimes committed outside of Uganda in neighbouring Central African Republic, DR Congo and the South Sudan, Fatou Bensouda said the court faces serious legal issues that require careful studies to ascertain whether existing charges exclude those committed outside of Uganda.

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Bensouda says  Dominic Ongwen\'s presence at International criminal court is a big window of opportunity for hundreds of victims of the conflict in Northern Uganda to find justice after decades of waiting.

Dr. Brian Kalenge, an advisor of the International Crimes Division (ICD) of the High Court of Uganda says the crimes that happened in Northern Uganda are scars to the Country\'s history and prosecuting their perpetrators presents crucial milestones for victims who have never seen justice for their sufferings.

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Allan Ngari is a Researcher with Transnational Threats and International Crimes Division of the Institute of Security Studies in Pretoria, South Africa says expanding charges against Dominic Ongwen is an opportunity for the victims to be heard before the International criminal Court.

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Dominic Ongwen is allegedly criminally responsible for three counts of crimes against humanity and four counts of war crimes. The first three counts relate to murder in violation of the Rome Statute; enslavement and inhumane acts of inflicting serious bodily injury and suffering.