ICC orders Congo warlord Germain Katanga to pay victims

Germain Katanga looks on during the closing statements in his trial, at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague on May 15, 2012.Image copyright

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Germain Katanga is serving a 12-year prison sentence

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has for the first time ordered a war criminal to pay reparations to victims of his atrocities.

Germain Katanga, an ex-militia leader in the Democratic Republic of Congo, should pay $1m (£800,000) to villagers targeted in 2003, judges ruled.

But as he was insolvent, the ICC Trust Fund for Victims should consider making the payment, the judges added.

Katanga followed proceedings via video link from jail in DR Congo.

The ICC sentenced him to 12 years in 2014 for aiding and abetting war crimes.

He was behind the 2003 massacre of hundreds of villagers in north-eastern DR Congo.

In total, the court ordered reparations of more than $3.7m.

“The chamber has assessed the scope of the prejudice to 297 victims as $3,752,620. The chamber sets the amount to be contributed by Mr Katanga towards the reparations as $1m,” said presiding judge Marc Perrin de Brichambaut.

A “symbolic” sum of $250 (£200) should be given to each of the 297 victims and a further $1m in “collective reparations”, the judge said.

Lawyers for the victims set out a detailed list of losses, including the destruction of houses, furniture, and the killing of livestock.

They also said survivors had suffered psychological harm because of the loss of loved ones.

“The order provides for two types of reparations: individual reparations, awarded to individuals to repair the harm they have suffered; and collective reparations, consisting of long-term projects covering a whole community but still focusing on individual victims to the extent possible,” an ICC statement said.

ICC orders Congo warlord Germain Katanga to pay victims