Today, both the defence for Katanga and the prosecution announced that they would not be pursuing their appeals against the judgment of 7 March 2014, which we have previously discussed here. This move renders the 7 March decision final, which will come as a disappointment to those who questioned some of the more worrying points in the Trial judgment.
It seems that the defence was the first party to drop its appeal, and the prosecution subsequently followed suit. It is exceptionally rare for trial judgments in international criminal tribunals to be final. Of the 61 total completed cases in the ICTY, for example, less than a third (18) did not have an appeals judgment, and the reason for this in eight cases was that the accused had died. Of the remaining ten, nine were cases where the accused had pleaded guilty, and the other one was a case where the indictment had been withdrawn ahead of trial. This apparent change of heart by Mr Katanga is very puzzling indeed.