By RFIPalled on 01-08-2019Modified on 01-08-2019 at 23:25
The confirmation of charges hearing in the case of Alfred Yekatom Rombhot is scheduled for 19 September at the International Criminal Court. The defense lawyers are in Bangui where they met the press Thursday, August 1 to launch a call for witnesses.
On October 29, 2018, former anti-balaka leader Alfred Yekatom Rombhot, who became a member of parliament, was arrested in the Central African National Assembly after brandishing his weapon in the Chamber. An arrest warrant was then quickly issued by the International Criminal Court on 11 November for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed between December 2013 and late 2014 in Bangui and the south-west of the country. And he was transferred to The Hague on 18 November.
Leading counsel at the initial appearance Thursday said possible procedural irregularities, including the transfer to The Hague. An element on which the defense team works. " This is certainly a subject that we will raise before the Court. How is it that we managed to issue an arrest warrant so quickly after the event of the National Assembly? questions Stéphane Bourgon, the lead counsel. How is it that the defense does not yet have all the information on why an arrest warrant was requested? "
For the defense, the important thing is to go to a fair trial. " It is likely that the prosecution with its resources will have easier access to some people. They will be able to investigate on a much broader level. But anyone who wants to talk to us and tell us the truth they saw, we want to meet them, "said the lawyer.
On Thursday, the defense called the witnesses who would like it to approach Master Tiangaye, the defense team, if they wish to give their testimony.
Yekatom Rombhot reportedly commanded a group of about 3,000 members in the anti-balaka movement. At the end of the confirmation of charges hearing, he could be prosecuted for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
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