The International Criminal Tribunal(ICC) has sentenced Jean Bosco Ntaganda commonly known as Terminator to 30 years in jail for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Democratic Republic of Congo(DRC).
Ntaganda was convicted on 18 counts including murder, rape, sexual slavery and using child soldiers. The sentence is the longest that the ICC has handed down.
The Trial Chamber VI of the ICC, writes the court on its website, “unanimously, sentenced Bosco Ntaganda to a total of 30 years of imprisonment. 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.”
Unless otherwise, Ntaganda would spend 23.5 more years in jail and would recover freedom in 2043 around his seventieth(70th) birthday.
Ntaganda was handed over to ICC by US Embassy in Rwanda where he had fled from DRC.
“The Chamber received submissions from the parties and participants regarding the possible sentence, heard witnesses and admitted evidence, and held a hearing on the matter on 17-20 September 2019,” ICC writes.
The judges at Hague said that they “considered the gravity of the crimes and the degree of harm caused by each crime as well as Mr Ntaganda’s culpability, namely his level of intent and degree of participation.”
They said they also considered potentially mitigating circumstances but “found them either not to be established or considered the weight accorded to be too limited to impact on the individual and overall sentences.”
To sentence Ntaganda, the chamber said that they considered the sentence that is provided for each and every crime and found that, they were all ranging between eight to nine years in jail.
But, apparently, the court would have wished to give Ntaganda life sentence in jail and were only limited by laws and international conventions.
Part of their ruling file indicate that, “Since the Chamber considered that the conditions warranting life imprisonment were not met, and because in such a situation the total period of imprisonment may not exceed 30 years in accordance with the Rome Statute, the Chamber considered that it had no further discretion in the determination of the overall joint sentence. It therefore sentenced Bosco Ntaganda to a total of 30 years of imprisonment.”
ICC court said they did not find it appropriate to impose fine against Ntaganda.