ICC Appeal Judges Upholds Conviction Of Congolese Warlord Lubanga

Warcrimes suspect Thomas Lubanga of the Democratic republic of Congo awaits  judges' verdict on the appeal following his conviction two years ago for using child soldiers in a conflict in the Congo in 2002-2003 in the courtroom of the International Crimina

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

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.

Dressed in a vivid traditional robe of purple and blue, Lubanga listened stony-faced as judges read out the verdict.

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