Theweekendleader

DRC warlord Katanga sentenced to 12 years in prison

London

23-May-2014

The International Criminal Court (ICC) Friday sentenced Democratic Republic of Congo's (DRC) former militia commander Germain Katanga to 12 years in prison for aiding and assisting war crimes, media reported.

The court based in The Hague found him guilty of involvement in war crimes and crimes against humanity, including murder and pillaging, for his role in the attack on Bogoro village in eastern DRC Feb 24, 2003, BBC reported.

Katanga, 36, popularly known as 'Simba', had initiated the Bogoro massacre that left hundreds of villagers dead.

The almost seven years that Katanga has already spent in detention would be deducted from the sentence, the court said.

Katanga was, however, cleared by the court of charges of rape, sexual slavery and using child soldiers.

Katanga's lawyers have appealed his conviction and now have 30 more days to appeal his sentence.

In 2004, Katanga was made a general in President Joseph Kabila's army as part of a policy to end the civil strife, until Nigeria arrested him in 2005.

He was transferred to The Hague in October 2007 and his trial, together with that of his co-accused Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui, started two years later.

Judges in November 2012 split the trials and Ngudjolo was acquitted a year later after judges ruled that he did not play a commanding role in the Bogoro attack. - IANS