ICC Verdict: Thomas Lubanga Guilty

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    The International Criminal Court (ICC) decided unanimously that Thomas Lubanga Dyilo is guilty, as a co-perpetrator, of the war crimes of conscripting and enlisting children under the age of 15 and using them to participate actively in hostilities from 1 September 2002 to 13 August 2003. It is the first verdict issued by an ICC Trial Chamber. At present, 14 other cases are before the Court, three of which are at the stage of trial.

    The present war crimes of enlisting and conscripting children under the age of 15 and using them to participate actively in hostilities were committed in the context of an internal armed conflict that took place in the Ituri (the Democratic Republic of the Congo) and involved the Force patriotique pour la libération du Congo (Patriotic Force for the Liberation of the Congo) (FPLC), led by Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, against the Armée Populaire Congolaise and other militias, including the Force de résistance patriotique en Ituri. A common plan was agreed by Mr Lubanga Dyilo and his co-perpetrators to build an army for the purpose of establishing and maintaining political and military control over Ituri. This resulted in boys and girls under the age of 15 being conscripted and enlisted, and used to participate actively in hostilities.
    Mr Lubanga Dyilo was the President of the Union des patriotes congolais (Union of Congolese Patriots) (UPC), the Commander-in-Chief of its military wing, the FPLC, and its political leader. He exercised an overall coordinating role regarding the activities of the UPC/FPLC and he actively supported recruitment initiatives, for instance by giving speeches to the local population and the recruits. Furthermore, he personally used children below the age of 15 amongst his bodyguards and he regularly saw guards of other UPC/FPLC staff members who were below the age of 15. The Chamber, comprising Judge Adrian Fulford (presiding judge), Judge Elizabeth Odio Benito and Judge René Blattmann, found that the evidence presented by the Prosecutor establishes beyond reasonable doubt that Mr Lubanga Dyilo’s contribution was essential to the common plan.
    At the request of Mr Lubanga Dyilo, and in accordance with article 76(2) of the Rome Statute, the Chamber will hold a separate sentencing hearing. The Chamber will, furthermore, establish the principles that are to be applied to reparations for victims. The defence is entitled to appeal the conviction within 30 days of receiving the French translation of the Judgment.
    Background information
    Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, a national of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, was transferred to The Hague on 17 March 2006, pursuant to a warrant of arrest issued by Pre-Trial Chamber I. His trial, the first at the ICC, started on 26 January 2009 and the closing statements were presented by the parties and participants on 25 and 26 August 2011.
    Over the course of 204 days of hearings, the Trial Chamber has delivered 275 written decisions and orders and 347 oral decisions. The Chamber heard 36 witnesses, including 3 experts, called by the Office of the Prosecutor, 24 witnesses called by the defence and 3 witnesses called by the legal representatives of the victims participating in the proceedings. The Chamber also called 4 experts. A total of 129 victims, represented by two teams of legal representatives and the Office of Public Counsel for Victims, were granted the right to participate in the trial. They have been authorised to present submissions and to examine witnesses on specific issues. The Prosecution submitted 368 items of evidence, the Defence 992, and the legal representatives of victims 13.
    The ICC is the first permanent, treaty-based, international criminal court established to help end impunity for the perpetrators of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community, namely war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide and the crime of aggression. At present, 15 cases have been brought before the Court in the context of 7 situations that are currently under investigation: Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Central African Republic, Darfur (Sudan), Kenya, Libya and Côte d’Ivoire. The ICC Judges have issued 20 warrants of arrest (2 withdrawn following the death of the suspects) and 9 summonses to appear. Currently, five individuals are in the ICC custody and 11 suspects remain at large.
    THE LIST OF PEOPLE INDICTED BY THE ICC
    Name
    S
    Indicted
    G
    CAH
    WC
    C
    Transferred
    to the ICC
    Current status
    AW/S
    Kony, JosephJoseph Kony
    02005-07-08 8 July 2005
    12
    21
    Fugitive
    Lukwiya, RaskaRaska Lukwiya
    02005-07-08 8 July 2005
    1
    3
    Died on 02006-08-12 12 August 2006; proceedings terminated on 02007-07-11 11 July 2000
    Odhiambo, OkotOkot Odhiambo
    02005-07-08 8 July 2005
    3
    7
    Fugitive
    Ongwen, DominicDominic Ongwen
    02005-07-08 8 July 2005
    3
    4
    Fugitive
    Otti, VincentVincent Otti
    02005-07-08 8 July 2005
    11
    21
    Fugitive; reported to have died on 02007-10-02 2 October 2007
    Lubanga Dyilo, ThomasThomas Lubanga Dyilo
    02006-02-10 10 February 2006
    3
    02006-03-17 17 March 2006
    Convicted on 02012-03-14 14 March 2012; awaiting sentence
    Ntaganda, BoscoBosco Ntaganda
    02006-08-22 22 August 2006
    3
    Fugitive
    Haroun, AhmedAhmed Haroun
    02007-04-27 27 April 2007
    20
    22
    Fugitive
    Kushayb, AliAli Kushayb
    02007-04-27 27 April 2007
    22
    28
    Fugitive
    Katanga, GermainGermain Katanga
    02007-07-02 2 July 2007
    3
    6
    02007-10-17 17 October 2007
    Trial began on 02009-11-24 24 November 2009
    Ngudjolo Chui, MathieuMathieu Ngudjolo Chui
    02007-07-06 6 July 2007
    3
    6
    02008-02-06 6 February 2008
    Trial began on 02009-11-24 24 November 2009
    Bemba, Jean-PierreJean-Pierre Bemba
    CAF
    02008-05-23 23 May 2008
    3
    5
    02008-07-03 3 July 2008
    Trial began on 02010-11-22 22 November 2010
    Bashir, OmarOmar al-Bashir
    02009-03-04 4 March 2009
    3
    5
    2
    Fugitive
    Abu Garda, BahrBahr Abu Garda
    02009-05-07 7 May 2009
    3
    Appeared voluntarily
    Charges dismissed on 02010-02-08 8 February 2010
    Banda, AbdallahAbdallah Banda
    02009-08-27 27 August 2009
    3
    Appeared voluntarily
    Case in pre-trial stage
    Jerbo, SalehSaleh Jerbo
    02009-08-27 27 August 2009
    3
    Appeared voluntarily
    Case in pre-trial stage
    Mbarushimana, CallixteCallixte Mbarushimana
    02010-09-28 28 September 2010
    5
    6
    02011-01-25 25 January 2011
    Charges dismissed on 02011-12-16 16 December 2011 (released on 02011-12-23 23 December 2011)
    Ali, MohammedMohammed Ali
    02011-03-08 8 March 2011
    5
    Appeared voluntarily
    Charges dismissed on 02012-01-23 23 January 2012
    Kenyatta, UhuruUhuru Kenyatta
    02011-03-08 8 March 2011
    5
    Appeared voluntarily
    Case in pre-trial stage
    Kosgey, HenryHenry Kosgey
    02011-03-08 8 March 2011
    3
    Appeared voluntarily
    Charges dismissed on02012-01-23 23 January 2012
    Muthaura, FrancisFrancis Muthaura
    02011-03-08 8 March 2011
    5
    Appeared voluntarily
    Case in pre-trial stage
    Ruto, WilliamWilliam Ruto
    02011-03-08 8 March 2011
    3
    Appeared voluntarily
    Case in pre-trial stage
    Sang, JoshuaJoshua Sang
    02011-03-08 8 March 2011
    3
    Appeared voluntarily
    Case in pre-trial stage
    Gaddafi, MuammarMuammar Gaddafi
    LBY
    02011-06-27 27 June 2011
    2
    Died on 02011-10-20 20 October 2011; proceedings terminated on 02011-11-22 22 November 2011
    Gaddafi, Saif al-IslamSaif al-Islam Gaddafi
    LBY
    02011-06-27 27 June 2011
    2
    Arrested in Libya on 02011-11-19 19 November 2011
    Senussi, AbdullahAbdullah Senussi
    LBY
    02011-06-27 27 June 2011
    2
    Fugitive
    Gbagbo, LaurentLaurent Gbagbo
    CIV
    02011-11-23 23 November 2011
    4
    02011-11-30 30 November 2011
    Case in pre-trial stage
    Hussein, Abdel RahimAbdel Rahim Hussein
    02012-03-01 1 March 2012
    7
    6
    Fugitive
    Courtesy of the International Criminal Court (ICC) 2012