Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui, Congo war criminal, freed by ICC


Congolese Mathieu Ngudjolo, 37, is seen at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, on Februrary 11, 2008. Ngudjolo, an army colonel and former rebel leader has been acquitted of charges that he lead a 2003 attack on a village in the country's lawless east that left 200 civilians dead, the International Criminal Court announced.


Peter Dejong

Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui, a former Congolese militia leader, has been freed after the International Criminal Court acquitted him of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Chui, who had 10 counts against him, was accused of being responsible for massacring for hundreds of villagers in Bogoro, Democratic Republic of Congo in 2003, CNN reported.

The court sentenced an opposing commander, Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, to 14 years in jail for the atrocities in July, Reuters reported. They said that the prosecution "failed to investigate the chain of command adequately," according to Reuters. 

Presiding French judge Bruno Cotte said that "declaring an accused person not guilty does not mean the Chamber declares him innocent," stressing that this decision "does not in any way deny the suffering of the population on that day," All Africa reported

Prosecutors say they plan to appeal Chui's case. 

"The people trusted the International Criminal Court more than our national courts," said Emmanuel Folo of Ituri human rights group Equitas, Reuters reported. "After this decision, for those who were victims of this, there is a feeling of disappointment. The victims feel forgotten, abandoned by international justice."

This verdict is only the second decision the court, based in The Hague, has handed in ten years, according to Bloomberg Businessweek