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ICC judge wants Lubanga war crimes trial moved to Congo

[JURIST] The International Criminal Court judge overseeing the war crimes trial [ICC press release] of Congolese militia leader Thomas Lubanga [TrialWatch profile; JURIST news archive] has expressed a desire to have the trial moved to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) [JURIST news archive], according to Tuesday reports. Judge Adrian Fulford [official profile] said that, despite security concerns, he believed that the trial should be moved from The Hague to the DRC because it would resonate more with the people of that country if they could witness it first-hand. The trial is not expected to commence until the end of 2007 at the earliest.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] confirmed war crimes charges against Lubanga in January, making Lubanga the first ICC defendant to face trial. As founder of the militant Union of Patriotic Congolese [Global Security backgrounder], Lubanga is accused [indictment, PDF; case materials] of enlisting child soldiers [BBC report] in the Democratic Republic of Congo's violence-plagued Ituri district [HRW backgrounder]. IWPR has more.

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