ICC upholds sentence of Uganda child soldier turned LRA commander | Armed Groups News

Judges dominated that Dominic Ongwen was not beneath duress and acted independently on the time when he had dedicated the crimes.

The Worldwide Legal Courtroom on Thursday confirmed the convictions of Dominic Ongwen, a former Ugandan baby soldier who rose to be a commander within the infamous Lord’s Resistance Military, and upheld his 25-year sentence for rape, homicide and baby abduction.

“The appeals chamber rejects all of the defence grounds of attraction and unanimously confirms the convictions,” presiding choose Luz del Carmen Ibanez Carranza mentioned.

The defendant who was taken into ICC custody in 2015, was convicted and sentenced in 2021 however his legal professionals had appealed each selections.

Later, the judges additionally rejected all of the grounds of attraction associated to the sentencing.

Led by fugitive strongman Joseph Kony, the LRA terrorised Ugandans for almost 20 years because it fought the federal government of President Yoweri Museveni from bases in northern Uganda and neighbouring international locations. The militia has now largely been worn out.

Ongwen, now in his mid-40s, was kidnapped as a nine-year-old and compelled into a lifetime of violence after the group killed his mother and father.

The defence had argued that his horrific experiences within the LRA meant he couldn’t be held answerable for his later actions.

Judges, nevertheless, dominated that Ongwen was not beneath duress and acted independently on the time when he had dedicated the crimes he was charged with.

Through the attraction listening to, the defence mentioned the ICC was utilizing Ongwen as a scapegoat for the crimes of LRA chief Kony, who continues to be at giant regardless of being the topic of an arrest warrant from the courtroom since 2005.

“Every thing that has occurred is being blamed on me,” Ongwen had mentioned throughout a listening to earlier this yr.

The ICC prosecutor not too long ago mentioned he would search to start out proceedings towards Kony and intensify efforts to convey him to trial.

Prosecutors and legal professionals for the greater than 4,000 victims collaborating within the case have requested judges to uphold the conviction and sentence.

The ICC was established in 2002 to attempt people for genocide, conflict crimes and different main human rights violations.

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