Closing Arguments in ICC's Lubanga Trial Begin Today

Thomas Lubanga Dyilo

Today and tomorrow, the International Criminal Court (ICC) will be hearing closing arguments in the trial of Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, accused by the Court of conscripting child soldiers in battle in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).  This marks an important milestone for the Court: the long-awaited conclusion of the first completed trial since its creation.

Lubanga is alleged to be the founder of Union des Patriotes Congolais (UPC) and the Forces patriotiques pour la libération du Congo (FPLC); the former Commander-in-Chief of the FPLC, and president of the UPC.  He is charged with war crimes including enlisting and conscripting child soldiers under the age of 15 into the FPLC.  His trial began in January 2009.

The closing arguments are scheduled to wrap up tomorrow, and a verdict in the Lubanga case is expected early next year.

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