Victims in Ongwen case respond to OTP request admit evidence under Article 56

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In the case of The Prosecutor v Dominic Ongwen at the ICC, the Office of Public Counsel for the victims and the Legal Representatives of the Victims have filed a response in support of the “Prosecution’s request to admit evidence preserved under Article 56 of the Statute” of 13 June 2016. The Victims’ Counsel concur with the Prosecutor that the admission of written transcripts of seven witness testimonies would not be prejudicial to Mr Ongwen’s statutory rights, and would enhance the efficacy and expeditiousness of case proceedings while ensuring the protection of witnesses. The seven witnesses in question testified before the Pre-Trial Chamber in September and November 2015, but the admissibility of their evidence in written rather than oral form at the (subsequent) Trial stage will hinge on whether the Trial Chamber considers that this form of evidence would have a prejudicial effect on Mr Ongen’s statutory rights. The Victims’ filing drew the Trial Chamber’s attention to the benefits associated with written testimony, including the avoidance of re-victimisation of witnesses and any potential risks of third-party interference with witnesses.

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