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ICC rejects arrest warrant for Congo rebel leader

Pre-Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] on Thursday rejected [text, PDF] the prosecution's application for an arrest warrant [text, PDF] against Sylvestre Mudacumura [ICC fact sheet, PDF], a field commander in the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) [GlobalSecurity backgrounder]. The prosecution announced that it would apply for an arrest warrant [JURIST report] against Mudacumura earlier this month on charges of murder, rape, torture, pillage and other crimes against humanity committed in the Kivu provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo. However, the court pointed out that the application failed to state any "specific reference to the crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court" that is required under articles 58(2)(b)(c) and (3)(b)(c) [texts] of the Rome Statute [text]. The court also noted that the listing of Mudacumura's alleged crimes was not enough to satisfy the specificity requirement of the Rome Statute because the prosecution had failed to support the allegations with facts underlying those crimes.

This rejection came only a day after the appeals chamber of the ICC upheld [JURIST report] the pre-trial chamber's decision that the prosecution lacked sufficient evidence to try Rwandan rebel leader Callixte Mbarushimana [ICC materials]. Mbarushimana was accused of having relations to the murder, rape and torture of Congolese villagers by Hutu militia in 2009.

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