UPDATES WITH HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH STATEMENT, ADDS BACKGROUND
By Diyar Guldogan and Felix Tih
ANKARA (AA) – The International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague on Thursday sentenced Congolese warlord Bosco Ntaganda, also known as “the Terminator,” to 30 years in prison.
“The time Mr Ntaganda has spent in detention at the ICC -- from 22 March 2013 to 7 November 2019 -- will be deducted from this sentence,” the ICC said in a statement.
On July 8, the ICC convicted Ntaganda on 18 counts of various crimes against humanity and war crimes in 2002-2003 in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
This verdict is currently subject to appeals.
In 2013 Ntanganda handed himself in to the U.S. Embassy in Kigali, Rwanda and requested transfer to the ICC in The Hague.
He was the alleged Deputy Chief of Staff and commander of operations of the Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC), an organized armed group involved in two conflicts in Ituri province in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2002 and 2003, according to the ICC.
- Longest ICC sentence ever
“Bosco Ntaganda’s 30-year sentence sends a strong message that even people considered untouchable may one day be held to account. While these victims’ pain cannot be erased, they can take some comfort in seeing justice prevail,” Ida Sawyer, deputy Africa director of Human Rights Watch, said in a statement.
“#Ntaganda’s conviction is also historic: 1st person convicted at the ICC for sexual slavery; 1st person convicted at ICC for crimes of sexual violence committed against his own troops,” Andrew Stroehlein, European media director of Human Rights Watch, said on Twitter.
It's the longest sentence ever delivered by the ICC, Stroehlein said.