Congo court urges massacre trial for foreign miners

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Article
17 October 2006

African tribunal [Dem. Rep. of Congo] cites Canadian company for role in massacre

Author: Kelly Patterson, CanWest News Service; Ottawa Citizen

Three former employees of a Canadian mining company should face prosecution for complicity in war crimes, a military judge has ruled in the Democratic Republic of Congo...Representatives for Anvil, which is incorporated in Canada but also has offices in Australia, were not available for comment. Last year, Anvil confirmed it loaned a plane and vehicles to the army, but said it ''had absolutely no choice'' but to accede to a government request for logistical support. ''When the army arrives with AK-47s ... you give them what they want,'' said Anvil spokesman Robert LaValliere, recalling that troops had commandeered vehicles at gunpoint in a previous clash with rebels earlier that year. He added that companies are obliged by law to comply with Congolese government requests. But after a long investigation into the killings, torture and rape of villagers by the soldiers, the Congolese military prosecutor found the Anvil employees ''voluntarily failed to withdraw'' the vehicles, and has asked that the three be formally charged.

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Author: Radio-Canada

Un juge de la République démocratique du Congo a mis en accusation trois anciens employés de la société montréalaise Anvil Mining pour complicité de crimes de guerre. Un Québécois, Pierre Mercier, compte parmi les accusés. Il était directeur général du bureau congolais d'Anvil Mining, au moment des événements qui lui valent une mise en accusation. Les deux autres, d'origine sud-africaine, étaient des agents de sécurité...[L]a compagnie avait déjà fait valoir que les militaires avaient réquisitionné les véhicules et qu'il ne lui était pas possible de s'y opposer. La direction d'Anvil Mining n'a pas commenté la mise en accusation de ses ex-employés. Selon le quotidien « The Ottawa Citizen », Pierre Mercier est maintenant à l'emploi de la firme First Quantum Minerals, de Vancouver, et travaille en Zambie.

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Article
16 October 2006

Congo court urges massacre trial for foreign miners

Author: David Lewis, Reuters

A Congolese military court has called for three former employees of Australian mining company Anvil Mining to be tried for complicity in war crimes committed by government soldiers in 2004. A court document, seen by Reuters, calls for the men to stand trial for facilitating crimes, including summary executions, rape and looting, alleged to have been committed by nine Congolese soldiers when they put down a small rebellion in Katanga province...According to legal experts, the document means that the prosecutor has finished his investigation and believes there is sufficient evidence for a trial to be held.

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Article
15 October 2006

Congolese Military Judge Calls for the Prosecution of Former Anvil Mining Staff for Complicity in War Crimes

Author: Rights & Accountability in Development

In an unprecedented move, a Congolese military judge has recommended the prosecution of three former Anvil Mining employees for complicity in war crimes and of Colonel Ademar Ilunga and eight of his subordinates for breaches of the Geneva Convention and its Additional Protocols. The judge’s 12 October decision follows a lengthy investigation into extrajudicial killings, torture, rape and looting carried out by the Congolese Armed Forces two years ago in the town of Kilwa...After Australia’s flagship current affairs programme, Four Corners, exposed Anvil Mining’s role in the Kilwa incident, the company confirmed that it provided “logistical assistance” to the Congolese Armed Forces, but claimed that its vehicles were “requisitioned” and that it effectively had no choice but to comply.

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