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ICC delays trial of Congo militia leader until June
ICC delays trial of Congo militia leader until June

[JURIST] The trial chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] on Thursday postponed the trial date [press release] of former Union of Patriotic Congolese militia leader Thomas Lubanga [ICC materials; BBC profile] until June 23, 2008. Lubanga's trial was originally scheduled to begin March 31 [JURIST report]. Lubanga is charged [JURIST report] with enlisting child soldiers in the violence-plagued Ituri district [HRW backgrounder]. He has denied the charges against him. Lubanga's trial will be the first for the ICC since it was etablished six years ago.

Lubanga became the first war crimes defendant to appear before the ICC after he was taken into ICC custody [JURIST reports] in March 2006. The ICC has also taken steps to prosecute Germain Katanga [BBC report; ICC materials], a Congolese militia leader, who has also been accused of using child soldiers. AFP has more.