ICC’s First War Crimes Trial Comes to Close

Posted August 25th, 2011 at 1:10 pm (UTC-5)
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The International Criminal Court is set to conclude its first-ever trial, the case of a Congolese warlord accused of recruiting child soldiers.

Thomas Lubanga was the first suspect to be tried by the world's permanent war crimes tribunal, which was established in 2002. The trial got underway in 2009, three years after Lubanga's arrest.

During closing arguments on Thursday, prosecutors said Lubanga trained children under the age of 15 to kill, rape and pillage.

They said he also used thousands of child soldiers to fight for the armed wing of his group the Union of Congolese Patriots during the Democratic Republic of Congo's civil war.

Lubanga has denied the charges.

Defense attorneys were expected present their closing arguments on Friday. Lubanga's attorneys have charged that witnesses gave false testimony during the trial.

A judgement is not expected for at least several months.

The ICC is currently conducting three other trials, all of Congolese suspects, including the country's former vice president Jean-Pierre Bemba.