Callixte Mbarushimana

Callixte Mbarushimana is the alleged Executive Secretary of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda or Forces Démocratiques pour la Libération du Rwanda (FDLR), the rebel group operating in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). After the arrest of the FDLR’s President in 2009, Mbarushimana allegedly inherited many of the President’s powers.

Mbarushimana was arrested on 11 October 2010 after the International Criminal Court (ICC) unsealed a warrant for his arrest issued in September of the same year. The Prosecution had applied for the arrest warrant under Article 58 of the Rome Statute in August 2010.

In its decision granting the application for the warrant of arrest, Pre-Trial Chamber I at the ICC found that there were reasonable grounds to believe that between January and September 2009, several attacks were directed by the FDLR against the civilian population of the North Kivu and South Kivu provinces in the DRC. In addition, the Chamber found reasonable grounds to believe that Mbarushimana is criminally responsible under Article 25 (3) (d) of the Rome Statute for five counts of crimes against humanity (murder, torture, rape, inhumane acts, persecution) and six counts of war crimes (attacks against a civilian population, destruction of property, murder, torture, rape, inhuman treatment).

On 3 November 2010, a Paris Court approved Mbarushimana’s extradition to the custody of the ICC in The Hague. Mbarushimana is the fourth person to be brought before the ICC in relation to the situation in the DRC, but the first to face charges in relation to crimes committed in the Kivu provinces.

In 2008, Mbarushimana was arrested by German border police as he attempted to travel to Russia on charges that he killed 32 people during the Rwandan Genocide. In 2005, the UN asked France to bring genocide charges against Mbarushimana, who was in the country under refugee status. Carla Del Ponte, the former Chief Prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), refused to bring charges because of lack of sufficient evidence.

On 25 January 2011, Mbarushimana was transferred by the French justice to the ICC detention center.

On 28 January 2011, Pre-Trial Chamber I of the ICC set the date of the beginning of the confirmation of charges hearing in the case of The Prosecutor v. Callixte Mbarushimana for 4 July 2011.

On 31 January 2011 the Pre-Trial Chamber I rejected the defence request for an order to preserve the impartiality of proceedings.

On 24 March 2011 the Pre-Trial Chamber I rejected the defence request for an order of State cooperation in preparation of the interim release of Callixte Mbarushimana

On 30 March 2011 Callixte Mbarushimana’s defence submitted to the Pre-Trial Chamber I an interim release request.

On 1 April 2011 Pre-Trial Chamber I ordered the Prosecutor to submit his views on the request of the defence no later than 15 April 2011 and invited the Republic of France and the kingdom of Nederlands to submit their observations on Callixte Mbarushimana’s request of interim release no later than 26 April 2011.

 

All cases related to the situation in the DRC
Ignace Murwanashyaka, DomCLIC Project
Laurent Nkunda, DomCLIC Project

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Press Release: 28.01.2011


Confirmation of charges hearing in the case of The Prosecutor v. Callixte Mbarushimana scheduled to start on 4 July 2011

ICC-CPI-20110128-PR622

Callixte Mbarushimana © ICC-CPI/Reuters/Jerry Lampen


Press Release: 25.01.2011

New suspect in the ICC’s custody: Callixte Mbarushimana arrives at the ICC detention centre

Situation: Democratic Republic of the Congo
Case: The Prosecutor v. Callixte Mbarushimana

On 28 January 2011, Pre-Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court (ICC) set the date of the beginning of the confirmation of charges hearing in the case of The Prosecutor v. Callixte Mbarushimana for 4 July 2011.

This decision was announced at the initial appearance of Callixte Mbarushimana before the ICC. During this hearing, in the presence of the Prosecution and the Defence, represented by Mr Nicholas Kaufman, Pre-Trial Chamber I verified the identity of Callixte Mbarushimana and ensured that he was clearly informed of the charges brought against him and of his rights under the Rome Statute of the ICC.

A confirmation of charges hearing is held to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to establish substantial grounds to believe that the person committed each of the crimes charged. If the charges are confirmed, the Pre-Trial Chamber commits the case for trial before a Trial Chamber, which will conduct the subsequent phase of the proceedings: the trial.

For further information and updates on this case, click here.

Background information

Mr Mbarushimana, a 47 year old alleged national of Rwanda, was surrendered and transferred to the ICC on 25 January 2011, by the French authorities following a warrant of arrest issued by the Pre-Trial Chamber I on 28 September 2010 and his arrest on 11 October 2010.

According to the warrant of arrest, Mr Mbarushimana is allegedly criminally responsible, under article 25(3)(d) of the Rome Statute of the ICC, for five counts of crimes against humanity (murder, torture, rape, inhumane acts and persecution) and six counts of war crimes (attacks against the civilian population, destruction of property, murder, torture, rape and inhuman treatment).

These crimes were allegedly committed in the context of an armed conflict which waged, in the Kivu Provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), from 20 January to 25 February 2009, between the Forces Démocratiques pour la Libération du Rwanda - Forces Combattantes Abacunguzi (FDLR) and the Forces Armées de la République Démocratique du Congo (FARDC) together with the Rwandan Defence Forces, and from 2 March to 31 December 2009, between the FDLR and the FARDC, at times in conjunction with the United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC). A series of attacks, both widespread and systematic, were allegedly carried out on a large scale by FDLR troops in the period between January and September 2009, against the civilian population of North and South Kivu.

Mr Mbarushimana is alleged to have been, since July 2007, the Executive Secretary of the FDLR. Pre-Trial Chamber I found that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the FDLR leadership decided to launch an offensive targeting the civilian population of the Kivus in order to ultimately obtain political concessions, and that an international campaign to extort concessions of political power for the FDLR was put in place, as part of the implementation of the common plan. The Chamber also found that there are reasonable grounds to believe that Mr Mbarushimana, as Executive Secretary of the FDLR "Steering Committee" (Comité Directeur), personally and intentionally contributed to the common plan, organising and conducting the above-mentioned international campaign by regularly using international and local media channels.

The situation in the DRC was referred to the Court by the Government of the DRC in April 2004. The Prosecutor opened an investigation in June 2004. Besides the case against Callixte Mbarushimana, three other cases are currently ongoing in the context of this situation: The Prosecutor v. Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, The Prosecutor v. Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo Chuiand The Prosecutor v. Bosco Ntaganda. The Office of the Prosecutor is also conducting investigations in four other situations: Uganda; the Central African Republic; Darfur, Sudan; and Kenya.

For further information, please contact Fadi El Abdallah, Associate Legal Outreach Officer, by telephone at: +31 (0)70 515-9152 or by e-mail at: fadi.el-abdallah@icc-cpi.int.

You can also follow the Court’s activities on YouTube and Twitter.

 


ICC-CPI-20110125-PR620


Situation: Democratic Republic of the Congo
Case: The Prosecutor v. Callixte Mbarushimana

Callixte Mbarushimana, a 47 year old alleged national of Rwanda, was surrendered and transferred today, 25 January 2011, to the International Criminal Court (ICC) by the French authorities following a warrant of arrest issued by the ICC’s Pre-Trial Chamber I on 28 September 2010 and his arrest on 11 October 2010. He arrived at the ICC detention centre located in The Hague (The Netherlands), at 15:15 (local time).

The ICC Registrar, Ms Silvana Arbia, expressed the Court’s appreciation for the French authorities’ full cooperation in the enforcement of the warrant of arrest. Ms Arbia also conveyed her gratitude to the Dutch authorities for their assistance in transporting the suspect to the ICC detention centre.

An initial appearance hearing will be soon held before Pre-Trial Chamber I. During this public hearing, the Chamber will verify that the suspect has been informed of the crimes which he is alleged to have committed and of his rights under the Rome Statute. The Chamber will also schedule the date for the confirmation of charges hearing.

For further information and updates on this case, click here.

Factual allegations

According to the warrant of arrest, Mr Mbarushimana is allegedly criminally responsible, under article 25(3)(d) of the Rome Statute of the ICC, for:

five counts of crimes against humanity: murder, torture, rape, inhumane acts and persecution; and

six counts of war crimes: attacks against the civilian population, destruction of property, murder, torture, rape and inhuman treatment.

These crimes were allegedly committed in the context of an armed conflict which waged, in the Kivu Provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), from 20 January to 25 February 2009, between the Forces Démocratiques pour la Libération du Rwanda - Forces Combattantes Abacunguzi (FDLR-FCA, hereafter FDLR) and the Forces Armées de la République Démocratique du Congo (FARDC) together with the Rwandan Defence Forces (RDF), and from 2 March to 31 December 2009, between the FDLR and the FARDC, at times in conjunction with the United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC). A series of attacks, both widespread and systematic, were allegedly carried out on a large scale by FDLR troops in the period between January and September 2009, against the civilian population of North and South Kivu.

Mr Mbarushimana is alleged to have been, since July 2007, the Executive Secretary of the FDLR. Pre-Trial Chamber I found that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the FDLR leadership decided to launch an offensive targeting the civilian population of the Kivus in order to ultimately obtain political concessions, and that an international campaign to extort concessions of political power for the FDLR was put in place, as part of the implementation of the common plan. The Chamber also found that there are reasonable grounds to believe that Mr Mbarushimana, as Executive Secretary of the FDLR "Steering Committee" (Comité Directeur), personally and intentionally contributed to the common plan, organising and conducting the above-mentioned international campaign by regularly using international and local media channels.

The situation in the DRC was referred to the Court by the Government of the DRC in April 2004. The Prosecutor opened an investigation in June 2004. Besides the case against Callixte Mbarushimana, three other cases are currently ongoing in the context of this situation: The Prosecutor v. Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, The Prosecutor v. Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui and The Prosecutor v. Bosco Ntaganda.

For further information, please contact Fadi El Abdallah, Associate Legal Outreach Officer, by telephone at: +31 (0)70 515-9152 or by e-mail at: fadi.el-abdallah@icc-cpi.int.

You can also follow the Court’s activities on YouTube and Twitter.