Ex-CAR militia commander appears before ICC, for alleged war crimes, refuses to speak
Former Central African Republic militia commander, Mahamat Said Abdel Kani appeared before the International Criminal Court (ICC) for the first time on Friday to answer for alleged crimes against humanity.
However, the alleged leader of Séléka, a largely Muslim rebel coalition who was handed over to the ICC on Sunday after his arrest in the Bria region of CAR, told the court that he’ll not make any comments for the time being.
“I will be silent for now and express myself when the time comes,” said Mr Kani, appearing by video link from the ICC’s detention centre because of coronavirus restrictions.
“I am not yet very fully informed of my rights. I am aware that as a suspect I am presumed innocent,” Kani added.
The militia commander allegedly committed the crimes in 2013 in the capital, Bangui, following the overthrow of President François Bozizé.
Thousands of people died in the ensuing violence that followed between the rebels and Christian militias in the country.