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Ongwen's ICC Trial Resumes Today

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At least 4,107 victims have been admitted to participate in the case. 2,605 of these are represented by Joseph Akwenyu Manoba and Francisco Cox, the representative of the victims. The remaining 1,502 victims are represented by Paolina Massidda, the common legal representative of Victims.
Dominic Ongwen during an earlier appearance before the ICC
 The trial of Dominic Ogwen, the former Commander of the Sania Brigade in the rebel Lord's Resistance Army before the International Criminal Court-ICC is set to resume today.

According to the ICC calendar seen by URN, the trial will run nonstop for the next fifteen days and adjourn on February 3rd after hearing presentations from prosecution, defense counsels and the war victims.

Over the fifteen days, Prosecution led by Fatou Bensouda, the ICC Chief Prosecutor are expected to call expert witnesses and victims to pin the accused for some of the 70 confirmed counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Ongwen's defense team declined to make opening statements when the trial commenced in December last year, saying they needed time to understand the full scope of the prosecution case against their client.  41-year-old Ongwen swiftly rose in the rebel rants following his abduction at the age 10 on his way to school in Northern Uganda. 

At least 4,107 victims have been admitted to participate in the case. 2,605 of these are represented by Joseph Akwenyu Manoba and Francisco Cox, the representative of the victims. The remaining 1,502 victims are represented by Paolina Massidda, the common legal representative of Victims.

ICC prosecutors allege that while serving in the rebel outfit, Ongwen was responsible for three counts of crimes against humanity: murder, enslavement, inhumane acts of inflicting serious bodily injury and suffering; and four counts of war crimes: murder, cruel treatment of civilians, intentionally directing an attack against a civilian population, and pillaging.

However, December 21st, 2015, prosecution expanded the seven original charges spelt out in his arrest warrant issued in 2005 to include additional charges related to attacks on Pajule IDP Camp, Odek IDP Camp and Abok IDP Camp.

He now faces seventy counts including attacks against the civilian population, murder, attempted murder, torture, cruel treatment, other inhumane acts, enslavement, outrages upon personal dignity, pillaging, destruction of property, and persecution. 

Others are sexual and gender-based crimes committed from 2002 to 2005 in Sinia Brigade - forced marriage, rape, torture, sexual slavery, and enslavement - and the conscription and use of children under the age of 15 to participate actively in hostilities from 2002 to 2005, in Sinia Brigade. Ongwen denied all charges when the trial commenced in December last year.