Court orders release of former Congo warlord Lubanga

AMSTERDAM Thu Jul 15, 2010 10:33pm IST

Congolese militia leader Thomas Lubanga (R) enters court at the beginning of his trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague January 26, 2009. REUTERS/ICC/Handout/Files

Congolese militia leader Thomas Lubanga (R) enters court at the beginning of his trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague January 26, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/ICC/Handout/Files

Related Topics

A statue of Ganesh, the deity of prosperity, is carried in a taxi to a place of worship on the first day of the ten-day-long Ganesh Chaturthi festival in Mumbai August 29, 2014. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

Ganesh Chaturthi Festival

During Ganesh Chaturthi idols will be taken through the streets in a procession accompanied by dancing and singing, and will be immersed in a river or the sea in accordance with Hindu faith.  Slideshow 

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The International Criminal Court ordered the release of accused Congo militia leader Thomas Lubanga on Thursday after his trial in the Hague was put on hold.

Lubanga had pleaded not guilty to charges of recruiting child soldiers.

The court last week ordered an immediate halt to the trial, saying the Office of the Prosecutor had refused to turn over information to his defence.

"An accused cannot be held in preventative custody on a speculative basis, namely that at some stage in the future the proceedings may be resurrected," the Court said in a statement.

Disclosure of material by the prosecution has been an issue in the Lubanga case for years, with disputes over evidence holding up the trial's start.

The court said on Thursday the release order will not be implemented immediately as an appeal can be filed within a five-day limit.

Lubanga is accused of enlisting and conscripting children under 15 to his Union of Congolese Patroits to kill members of a rival tribe in a 1998-2003 war in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He has pleaded not guilty and described himself as a politician, not a warlord.

The ICC is also trying other accused Congolese warlords for crimes committed during the fighting in the resource-rich country.

Lubanga's trial resumed in January, six months after prosecutors ended their case. His defence has argued the child soldiers who testified against him made up their stories. (Reporting by Harro ten Wolde)

(For more news on Reuters India, click in.reuters.com)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Pakistan Protests

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Book Talk

Book Talk

Reema Abbasi and a glimpse of Pakistan’s Hindu past  Full Article 

Ukraine Crisis

Ukraine Crisis

Fighting goes on near big Ukrainian city, Poroshenko slams Russia   Full Article 

Mideast Conflict

Mideast Conflict

Israel claims West Bank land for possible settlement use, draws U.S. rebuke  Full Article 

Iraq Human Rights

Iraq Human Rights

UN debate on Iraq hears of atrocities committed by both sides  Full Article 

Syria War

Syria War

Fighting erupts between Syrian army, rebels on Golan Heights  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage