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Ngudjolo Chui makes first appearance at ICC on DR Congo war crimes charges

[JURIST] Former Congolese Nationalist and Integrationist Front leader Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui [ICC materials] on Monday appeared before the International Criminal Court (ICC) [press release] at The Hague for the first time. The public hearing allowed judges to verify Ngudjolo Chui's identity and to read his arrest warrant [PDF text] for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity. Ngudjolo Chui's lawyer asked that the case be dismissed, saying that Ngudjolo Chui had already been acquitted of the same charges by a court in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) [JURIST news archive]. A hearing to confirm the charges is set for May 21.

Ngudjolo Chui was arrested [JURIST report] last week in the DRC and after his transfer to the ICC, he became the third Congolese national accused of war crimes in ICC custody. The ICC will consider whether to join Ngudjolo Chui's charges with those of Germain Katanga [ICC materials; BBC profile], who is accused of using child soldiers and other war crimes, in a closed session scheduled for Tuesday. Another Congolese war crimes suspect, Thomas Lubanga [ICC materials; JURIST report], was taken into ICC custody in March 2006 [JURIST report]. Reuters has more.

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