Prosecution concludes case in trial of Congo militia leader Lubanga

Prosecution concludes case in trial of Congo militia leader Lubanga

[JURIST] The prosecution in the trial of Congolese militia leader Thomas Lubanga Dyilo concluded its case [release] on Tuesday after presenting 22 weeks of testimony. The trial, occurring at the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] at The Hague, began in January [Guardian report], nearly three years after ICC prosecutors applied for an arrest warrant [PDF, in French]. Lubanga [Al-Jazeera backgrounder] stands accused of war crimes for allegedly recruiting child soldiers to fight in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DCR) in 2002-2003. The defense is expected to begin presenting its case in October.

Lubanga's trial was halted soon after it began when one of the child witnesses recanted his testimony [JURIST report] that Lubanga had recruited him for the militia. Lubanga maintains he is innocent [JURIST report] of the charges against him. Lubanga became the first war crimes defendant to appear before the ICC, formed in 2002, after he was taken into custody [JURIST report] in March 2006.