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First ICC verdict due against DR Congo militia boss

Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Sheria (The Law Forum)' started by ByaseL, Mar 13, 2012.

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    ByaseL JF-Expert Member

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    Mar 13, 2012
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    The International Criminal Court will hand down judgment in the trial of Congolese militia leader Thomas Lubanga on Wednesday in its first verdict since launching almost a decade ago.


    The former rebel commander will face a three-judge bench at a public hearing set down for 10.00 am (0900 GMT) at the tribunal's Hague-based headquarters in an "eagerly awaited judgment."


    Lubanga, 51, faces two counts of war crimes for enlisting child soldiers under 15 to fight for his militia during the bloody five-year war in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which ended in 2003 and in which humanitarian NGOs said some 60,000 people had been killed since 1999.

    "In order to convict the accused, the chamber must be convinced of the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt," the court said, adding, "in the event of a conviction, the chamber will later consider the appropriate sentence."
    First transferred to The Hague in 2006, the alleged founder of the Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC) and chief commander of its military wing, went on trial in January 2009. Arguments closed in August last year.

    In the trial, prosecutors alleged Lubanga's role in the conflict was driven by a desire to maintain and expand his control over the eastern DRC's Ituri region, one of the world's most lucrative gold-mining territories.
     
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