ICC bans people from trial in Uganda

International Criminal Court (ICC) in the trial of Dominic Ongwen, a former commander of the Uganda-based Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), was closed to visitors Wednesday due to concerns over the novel coronavirus.

The ICC usually make its activities public and accessible, including court proceedings, to ensure transparency and accountability.

However, it issued a statement, saying: “Due to the current health situation, and as part of the measures taken by the International Criminal Court (ICC) to reduce the general risk of transmission of the COVID-19 virus, the ICC will welcome visitors solely for the purpose of attending public sessions of Court hearings.

“The Visitors’ Centre is closed and all ICC group visits are cancelled until further notice,” it said.

ICC prosecutors at the end of their closing arguments asked judges to convict Ongwen on all 70 counts of crimes against humanity and war crimes allegedly committed in Uganda between 2002 and 2005.

The prosecution put forward 69 witnesses, including insiders from the LRA, experts and victims of the crimes, which included sexual violence and gender-based crimes.