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International court convicts Congo rebel chief Katanga

THE HAGUE -- The International Criminal Court on Friday convicted a rebel leader of charges including murder and pillage over a deadly attack on a village in eastern Congo, but acquitted him of rape, sexual slavery and using child soldiers.

Germain Katanga showed no emotion as judges convicted him as an accessory in the attack on the strategic village of Bogoro on Feb. 24, 2003, in which some 200 civilians were hacked or shot to death and many women were raped and turned into sex slaves.

Katanga, nicknamed Simba, is only the second person convicted since the court was established in 2002. Another alleged rebel leader originally charged with him, Mathieu Ngudjolo, was acquitted of all charges in December 2012.

In a 2-1 majority verdict, the court said Katanga played an important role in the attack on Bogoro by arming rebel fighters, “reinforcing the strike capability of the militia,” Presiding Judge Bruno Cotte said.

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