THE HAGUE

ICC upholds Congolese warlord Lubanga’s conviction

Jiri Buller, AFP | Former Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga is pictured at the start of his appeal hearing in the courtroom of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, on May 19, 2014

Appeal judges at the International Criminal Court on Monday upheld the conviction of Congolese war criminal Thomas Lubanga and confirmed his 14-year prison sentence, bringing to a close the permanent war crimes court’s first case.

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Lubanga, 53, who has been on trial since 2006, was convicted two years ago of war crimes for using child soldiers during a conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2002/03.

Lubanga had asked appeals judges to find that video evidence showing child soldiers in his army, the Union of Congolese Patriots, was not reliable, bringing former soldiers to testify that they had been adults at the time of the conflict.

By a majority of three to two, the appeals court said there was no reason to doubt the verdict reached by judges at the original trial.

“The Trial Chamber’s assessment of the facts was reasonable,” presiding judge Erkki Koroula said.

(REUTERS)

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