The International Criminal Court upheld the convictions and a prison sentence of a former Congolese warlord Tuesday, dismissing his lawyers’ arguments that legal errors tainted his original trial.
Bosco Ntaganda was sentenced to 30 years in prison after the ICC found him guilty in 2019 of 18 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including murder, rape, sexual slavery and using child soldiers.
Ntaganda commanded members of the Union of Congolese Patriots militia, who committed brutal acts during an ethnic conflict in a mineral-rich area of the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2002 and 2003.
Hundreds of civilians lost their lives in the violence, and thousands of others were forced to flee the country where many of its 90 million citizens live in extreme poverty.
Earlier in March, the ICC ordered $30 million in reparations for Ntaganda’s victims.
Ntaganda, a 47-year-old Rwandan native known as “The Terminator,” showed no emotion as presiding judge Howard Morrison read the summary of the appeals court’s findings.
Prosecutors described Ntaganda as a merciless leader of Tutsi uprisings during civil wars that decimated the DRC following the 1994 genocide of Tutsis in neighboring Rwanda.
He received the longest sentence the ICC has handed down and was the first person to be convicted of sexual assault by the court.
The ICC was established in 2002 to prosecute war crimes and crimes against humanity when member states are unable to prosecute such crimes or refuse to do so.