ICC Pretrial Hearing Starts in Central African Republic Case

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THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Two alleged leaders of a predominantly Christian militia involved in a bitter conflict with Muslim forces in the Central African Republic have appeared at the International Criminal Court for a hearing at which prosecutors will seek to persuade judges that there is sufficient evidence to send the suspects to trial.

Patrice-Edouard Ngaissona and Alfred Yekatom are suspected of involvement in crimes including murder, persecution, torture and using child soldiers, when they were senior leaders in the anti-Balaka militia.

Ngaissona, who was chief of his country's soccer federation when he was arrested on an ICC warrant in Paris last year, faces 111 charges and Yekatom, who prosecutors say was an anti-Balaka military leader, faces 21 charges.

Neither man entered a plea as the pretrial hearing got underway Thursday.



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