ICC / Trial Chamber I to Deliberate on the Case Against Thomas Lubanga Dyilo
THE HAGUE, Netherlands— ICC / Trial Chamber I is set to deliberate on the case against Thomas Lubanga Dyilo. The trial in the case The Prosecutor v. Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, the first opened by the International Criminal Court (ICC), has entered its final stages following the hearing of closing statements that took place from 25 and 26 August 2011. During the last two days, the Prosecution, the legal representatives of victims and the Defence presented their final arguments. Trial Chamber I, comprising Judge Adrian Fulford (presiding judge), Judge Elizabeth Odio Benito and Judge René Blattmann will deliberate on the proceedings and, within a reasonable period, will pronounce its decision. The Chamber bases its decision only on the applicable law and on evidence submitted and discussed before it at the trial.
Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, a national of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, is accused of having committed, as a co-perpetrator, war crimes of enlisting and conscripting children under the age of 15 years into the Forces patriotiques pour la libération du Congo (Patriotic Forces for the Liberation of the Congo) (FPLC), and using them to participate actively in hostilities in Ituri, a district of the eastern province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, between September 2002 and August 2003. He was surrendered and transferred to the Court on 17 March 2006, upon a warrant of arrest issued by Pre-Trial Chamber I. The trial started on 26 January 2009.
Over the course of 220 hearings, the Chamber heard 36 witnesses called by the Office of the Prosecutor, including 3 experts, 19 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 other experts to testify. The Judges ensured the respect of the rights guaranteed by the Rome Statute to each of the parties, including the right to cross-examine the witnesses.
A total of 123 victims, represented by three teams of legal counsel, were authorised to participate in the trial. They have expressed their position on matters heard before the Chamber and were authorised to examine witnesses on specific issues.
The Trial Chamber issued 307 oral decisions, and 624 written decisions. The parties and participants before the Chamber exchanged more than 3,560 filings amounting to more than 53,000 pages.
SOURCE : International Criminal Court (ICC)