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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.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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