(Al Jazeera) – Congolese ex-militia leader Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui has protested his innocence at an appeal hearing before the International Criminal Court, where he was acquitted nearly two years ago of war crimes charges. “From the beginning I pleaded not guilty. I never planned the attack on Bogoro,” Ngudjolo told the ICC appeals chamber on Tuesday. Ngudjolo, 44, is a former leader of the Nationalist Integrationist Front (FNI) militia in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and his acquittal in December 2012 was a first for the world’s only permanent war crimes tribunal. Judges said at the time that prosecutors had failed to prove his commanding role in a 2003 attack by ethnic Lendu forces on Bogoro village in the vast African country’s northeast Ituri province, in which more than 200 villagers were slaughtered. Ngudjolo had faced charges including using child soldiers in the horrific ethnically-motivated attack.