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Third detainee for the International Criminal Court: Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui

The Hague, 7 February 2008


Translation: Congolese Swahili 

Situation: Democratic Republic of the Congo
Case: The Prosecutor v. Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui 

Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui, a Congolese national and alleged former leader of the National integrationist Front (FNI) and currently a Colonel in the National Army of the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo [Forces armées de la RDC/ Armed Forces of the DRC ] (FARDC), was arrested yesterday by the Congolese authorities and transferred to the International Criminal Court (ICC). He will be arriving today to the Detention Centre of the Court, in The Hague. Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui is alleged to have committed crimes against humanity and war crimes as set out in articles 7 and 8 of the Statute, committed in the territory of the Democratic Republic of the Congo since July 2002. 

On 6 July 2007, Pre-Trial Chamber I issued a sealed warrant of arrest for Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui after having examined the request and evidence submitted by the Prosecutor. The warrant was unsealed on 7 February 2008.

The date of Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui’s first appearance will be announced in due course.

Factual allegations

The Pre-Trial Chamber I found that there were reasonable grounds to believe that Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui, as the highest ranking FNI commander, played an essential role in designing and implementing an indiscriminate attack against the village of Bogoro, in the territory of Ituri, on or around 24 February 2003.

The Chamber also found that there were reasonable grounds to believe that during and after the attack on the village of Bogoro against civilians, primarily of Hema ethnicity, with the active participation of  children under the age of fifteen years, several criminal acts were committed: the murder of about 200 civilians; causing serious bodily harm to civilians; arresting, threatening with weapons and imprisoning civilians in a room filled with corpses; pillaging; sexual enslavement of several women and girls.

The Chamber further found that there were reasonable grounds to believe that a common plan to carry out an attack on Bogoro was agreed upon by Ngudjolo Chui and other senior FNI and FRPI (Force de résistance patriotique en Ituri/ Patriotic Resistance Force in Ituri) military commanders, and that the criminal acts committed during and after the attack were part of the common plan or, were, at the very least, a probable and accepted consequence of the implementation of the said common plan.

Again, according to the Chamber, there were reasonable grounds to believe that the attack on the village of Bogoro took place in the context of an armed conflict in the territory of Ituri, and that the attack was jointly launched by the FNI and the FRPI as part of a systematic or widespread attack directed against the civilian population of certain parts of the territory of Ituri, primarily of Hema ethnicity, between January and at least March 2003.

The counts

The warrant of arrest for Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui lists nine counts on the basis of his individual criminal responsibility (articles 25(3)(a) or 25(3)(b)) of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court) including:

  • three counts of crimes against humanity: murder – article 7(1)(a), inhumane acts  – article 7(1)(k), and sexual slavery – article 7(1)(g);
  • six counts of war crimes: wilful killing – article 8(2)(a)(i) or 8(2)(c)(i), inhuman treatment – article 8(2)(a)(ii) or cruel treatment – article 8(2)(c)(i), using children under the age of fifteen years to participate actively in hostilities – article 8(2)(b)(xxvi) or article 8(2)(e)(vii), sexual slavery – article 8(2)(b)(xxii) or article 8(2)(e)(vi), intentionally directing attacks against the civilian population as such or against individual civilians not taking direct part in hostilities – article 8(2)(b)(i) or 8(2)(e)(i), pillaging a town or place even when taken by assault – article 8(2)(b)(xvi) or article 8(2)(e)(v)).

Statement of the Registrar

The Registrar of the Court, Bruno Cathala, welcomed the decision of a State Party to the Rome Statute to execute an ICC decision. “Once again, the Congolese authorities have actively co-operated with the Court in the spirit of the Statute, and have enforced a judicial decision by arresting Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui and surrendering him to the Court”, said the Registrar.  

Background information

Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui is the third person in the custody of the ICC. On 17 October 2007, the Congolese authorities surrendered and transferred Germain Katanga, a Congolese national and alleged commander of the FRPI, to the International Criminal Court. He is currently charged as a co-perpetrator of the crimes committed allegedly during the joint FNI and FRPI attack on the village of Bogoro on or around 24 February 2003.

On 17 March 2006, Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, a Congolese national and alleged founder and leader of the Union des patriotes Congolais [Union of Congolese Patriots] (UPC), was transferred to the ICC.

The Prosecutor of the Court initiated investigations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in June 2004 after the Congolese Government referred the situation in the country to the Court. 

The situation in the DRC is one of four situations currently under investigation by the Office of the Prosecutor.

The other three situations are: the situation in Uganda, in respect of which four arrest warrants have been issued, on 8 July 2005, for leaders of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA); the situation in Darfur, Sudan, in respect of which arrest warrants have been issued, on 27 April 2007, for Ahmad Muhammad Harun, former Minister of State for the Interior and currently Minister of State for Humanitarian Affairs in the Government of the Sudan, and Ali Muhammad Ali Abd-Al-Rahman (Ali Kushayb), a leader of the Militia/Janjaweed; and the situation in the Central African Republic where an investigation is ongoing.  

Warrant of arrest for Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui

ICC-01/04-02/07 - French I  English  
ICC-01/04-02/07-Anx1 - Annex:

Decision to unseal the warrant of arrest against Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui
ICC-01/04-02/07 - English

The course of action and procedure following the arrest and surrender of a suspect to the Court
ICC-PIDS-PRI-1/07 - English  |  French  |  Swahili 

ICC Detention Centre
ICC-PIDS-PRI-02/07 - English French | Swahili

Statement by Phakiso Mochochoko, Head of the Legal Advisory Section - English

Statement of Deputy Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda to the Media regarding the surrender of Mathieu Ngudjolo (Deputy Prosecutor FRENCH REMARKS) - English  |  French

Practical information

Press Conference

The Deputy Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda and the Senior Legal Advisor of the Registry, Phakiso Mochochoko, will hold a press briefing at the ICC premises in The Hague on 7th February 2008 at 3:00 p.m.

Confirmation of attendance is not required.

The web-cast of the press conference in English and French will be available live through the ICC website:

English: http://livestream.xs4all.nl/icc1.asx

French: http://livestream.xs4all.nl/icc2.asx

Technical information on the broadcast via satellite will follow. 

For further information please contact Ms Sonia Robla, Head of Public Information and Documentation Section at +31 (0)70 515-8089 or at +31 (0)6 46 44 87 26; email: sonia.robla@icc-cpi.int

DRC: Paul Madidi, Field Public Information and Outreach Coordinator at +243 99 801 1403 or email: Paul.Madidi@icc-cpi.int

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Contact information

Maanweg 174, 2516 AB, The Hague, The Netherlands / Post Office Box 19519, 2500 CM The Hague, The Netherlands
Tel. : +31 70 515 85 15 • Fax : +31 70 515 85 55 • http://www.icc-cpi.int