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Good evening your honors, my name is Igor Strobilius and on

behalf of the Prosecution, I am here to demonstrate that Mr. Pozo


shall be convicted by this Court under art. 25 3 d for the crime
against humanity of sexual slavery. Therefore, for the next 5
minutes I will show that the specific elements of this crime are
present.

It’s important to note that this Court in the Conf of charges of


Katanga and Ngiudjo as well as the SCSL in Taylor have regarded
sexual enslavement as a particular form of enslavement, being its
actus reus composed of two elements: first, the exercise of any of
the powers of ownership over a person or a similar imposition of
deprivation of liberty and, second, that the enslavement involved
sexual acts.
In relation to the first element, central to the offense of
enslavement, the drafters of the EC adopted the correct view that
enslavement has many different forms, being one of them when
girls and women are forced into marriage. Its was also this view that
was held in Katanga, where the accused had its charges confirmed
because women were forced to become “wives” of members of the
group. Furthermore, the Supplementary convention on the abolition
of slavery, to which the EC makes reference, establishes that it
does not matter whether there was consent of the parents, because
after all your honors we, who are distant from that reality, shall not
forget that the children and the women are the ones abused every
day, they are the one who suffer directly from this situation. And if
the protected legal interest of this crime is the life of these child, this
Court shall deem irrelevant whether there was or was not consent
and whether this was a cultural practice. Slavery can under no
circumstance be considered a cultural practice, in this situation the
parents were exchanging girls for protection, exchanging humans
for a service, isn’t that typical of slavery your honors? In this sense,
the UN Special report on child marriage of 2014, as well as the
report on servile marriage and on contemporaneous forms of
slavery, have associated forced child marriage with slavery,
emphasizing the terrible psychological and physical harms caused
to the children. In the present situations, girls of 12 years old were
being enslaved by Gruca, and they had absolutely no choice, they
had to serve theirs “husband”, they had to have sexual intercourse,
they even had to help gruca’s actions. Slavery is of the most
horrendous practices, it’s to treat a person as an object, it’s to
completely disregard their humanity, this cannot be considered
acceptable under any reason.
If the Court is not satisfied with that your honors, in Kunarac
the trial chamber of the ICTY, in a decision that was further used by
the SCSL in ARFC and RUF judgment as well as by this court in
Ntaganda, has established that the consent of the victim is either
irrelevant or impossible because in some circumstances such as
the present one the victim is in a vulnerable position, under
psychological oppression and other forms of coercion. In our case
your honors, there was an armed group that almost governed an
entire state, known for thousands of killings, is there any doubt of
the fear of violence that they imposed on the population? Is there
any reasonable doubt that these girls, and probably their parents,
didn’t have the capability to say “no”? Because, even if they could
that wouldn’t matter for Gruca, as stated in para.33. Even if they
tried to escape later that would result in their death, as happened
with almost 1200 women. The only decision that these girls could
take was whether to be killed or to be sexual enslaved.
In regard to the second element, your honors para. 33 of the
case establishes that they had the obligation to keep sexual
intercourse with members of the group, their will didn’t matter.
Sufficing therefore such element.
At last your honors, I would like to highlight that these children
were deprived of the basic civil rights of free men; they were
deprived of the right to move freely or to choose their place of
residence; to live in a household with their families; to be educated,
to go to school; to freely marry; to visit public places of their own
choosing, to have autonomy. And in the words of the Milch case
before the US military tribunal more than 60 years ago, those are
sign-marks of slavery.
It’s in light of that and of the horrendous nature of this long-
standing crime, that this Prosecution submits that Mr.Pozo shall be
considered guilty by this court of the crime of sexual slavery.