On appeal, Lubanga calls two more ‘non child’ soldiers
Over two days, Thomas Lubanga Dyilo’s defence challenged key video footage supporting the verdict that convicted the Congolese militia leader in 2012 for using child soldiers. During an appeals hearing held last week at the International Criminal Court (ICC), two witnesses explained that although they might have looked like child soldiers, they were young adults.
All eyes in the court room are on the screens. A young Congolese man raises his hand and swears to tell the truth and nothing but the truth. He is testifying through video-link from an ICC field office in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). His name is Augustin Mbogo, born on 8 April 1983. Lubanga’s defence called him for the appeals hearing held in The Hague, on 19 and 20 May, to challenge the verdict that found the ex-leader of the UPC (Union des Patriotes Congolais) guilty of war crimes for enlisting and conscripting child soldiers under the age of 15 years. He was sentenced to 14 years imprisonment.
Images and video evidence