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

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

Canada Shooting

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Fukushima Probe

Fukushima Probe

Japan prosecutors set to rule on possible Fukushima indictments.  Full Article 

Fighting Islamic State

Fighting Islamic State

U.S.-led air strikes killed 553 fighters, 32 civilians in Syria - monitor.  Full Article 

Ebola Outbreak

Ebola Outbreak

Official WHO Ebola toll near 5,000 with true number nearer 15,000.  Full Article 

Total CEO Death

Total CEO Death

Russian prosecutors detain four more suspects in Total CEO plane crash.  Full Article | Related Story 

Abducted Girls

Abducted Girls

Nigeria talks with Boko Haram but no sign of girls' release.  Full Article 

Bodies In Locker

Bodies In Locker

Woman charged after 6 infant bodies found in Canadian locker.  Full Article 

Tunisia Polls

Tunisia Polls

Tunisia election tests transition from autocracy to democracy.  Full Article 

Pope's Agenda

Pope's Agenda

Pope Francis plays long game to reform Catholic Church.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

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