Democratic Republic of the Congo
Practice Relating to Rule 102. Individual Criminal Responsibility
The Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Military Penal Code (2002) provides: “No one is criminally responsible but for his own acts.”
In 2010, in the Barnaba Yonga Tshopena case, the Military Garrison Court of Ituri-Bunia convicted a leader of the Front for Patriotic Resistance in Ituri (FRPI) of several war crimes. The Court stated:
130 … [I]n principle, individual criminal liability is individual. However, some adjustments are needed for a better understanding of this principle. Indeed, some criminalize complicity and co-perpetration; others, in particular international criminal law and military criminal law, … provide that superiors can, in certain circumstances, be convicted for crimes committed by their subordinates.
132 … [I]n the present case, … the defendant … did not individually and materially commit the various war crimes for which he is charged, as the material perpetrators are formally identified as being Ngiti combatants of the FRPI militia. [H]e was the founder, moral authority and spiritual leader [of the FRPI] and, by right, the commander and leader of the FRPI, as well as the Messiah of the Lendu people. [A]s such, he is the highest moral authority and the supreme spiritual leader. De facto
, he is considered by his FRPI peers as the supreme leader of the Ngiti combatants of this political-military movement. In this capacity, together with other commanders of this political-military movement, he organized, planned or encouraged in any way the successive attacks[.]