WORLD NEWS TOMORROW -WORLD CRIME – Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga has been sentenced to 14 years in jail for recruiting and using child soldiers in his rebel army in 2002 and 2003. Taking into account time in custody, he will now serve a further eight years.
In March, he became the first person to be convicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) since it was set up 10 years ago.The conflict between ethnic groups in Ituri, north-eastern DR Congo, is estimated to have killed 60,000 people.
Lubanga showed no emotion as he was sentenced.
Judge Adrian Fulford praised the former warlord for his conduct and co-operation throughout the trial, our correspondent Anna Holigan in The Hague says.But he was hugely critical of the former prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo, she says, accusing him of making errors, failing to submit evidence to support his claims and allowing his staff to give misleading statements to the press.
In June Mr Moreno-Ocampo said he was asking for a “severe sentence” of 30 years. He said the prosecution was requesting a sentence “in the name of each child recruited, in the name of the Ituri region”. The issue of reparations was not addressed at Tuesday’s hearing. Both sides now have 30 days to appeal.
The conviction of Lubanga is linked to current unrest in DR Congo. Rebel forces are advancing towards the country’s main eastern city of Goma. They are headed by Gen Bosco Ntaganda, who is also wanted for war crimes by the ICC.