West Law Report

Will Thomas Lubanga walk away?

Posted in International Criminal Court (ICC), Thomas Lubanga (Congo) by mrkooenglish on June 25, 2008

Congo: Former Warlord’s Trial Halted“, NY Times, 25 Jun 2008

Lawyers at the International Criminal Court in The Hague fought over the possible release of Thomas Lubanga, a former warlord in Congo, whose trial on war crimes charges has been halted. Judges at the court warned last week that they might have to free Mr. Lubanga, who is charged with recruiting child soldiers during militia violence in 2002-3, because of errors by the prosecution involving the withholding of evidence. At the heart of the dispute is whether judges and defense lawyers will be allowed to evaluate about 200 confidential United Nations documents obtained by the prosecution. In an attempt to have the trial resumed, the United Nations legal office, which had refused to release the documents, sent a letter saying the three judges could privately read them under United Nations supervision but could not take notes. The judges said they would rule in the case next week.

In Joshua Rozenberg’s opinion:

The prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo – or his deputy, Fatou Bensouda – should resign immediately.