Association for Free Research and International Cooperation

CAR Member of Parliament faces 14 charges for crimes against humanity.

Alfred Yekatom, a member of parliament in CAR and wanted for crimes against humanity appeared Friday before the International Criminal court.

The ex-militia lead popularly referred to as ‘Rambo’ was arrested in October in Bangui and transferred to the Netherlands meanwhile the ICC issued his arrest warrant on Nov. 11.

He stand to answer 14 charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including murder, mutilation, torture, cruel treatment and recruiting child soldiers under 15 into the “Anti-balaka” militia group accused of executing attacks on Muslims between December 2013 and August 2014.

The court had found reasonable rounds to believe that as a military commander at the time of the atrocities, he was commanding 3,000 members operating within the anti-Balaka.

However, his lawyer Xavier Jean Keita has been quick to condemn the circumstances surrounding his arrest and transfer to The Hague while decrying the fact that his client had been tortured. He also pointed out that his rights were violated after he was denied access to his lawyers in CAR

Yekatom confirmed to the courts that prior to his arrest, he had not been informed about the supposed charges levied against him.

None the less, Judge Antoine Kesia‐Mbe Mindua indicated that his early appearance was strictly to inform him of the charges meanwhile April 30, 2019 has been set for the hearing and the confirmation of the charges.

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