“Fake child soldiers” at Lubanga trial

07 April 2010 by Thijs Bouwknegt

Catherine Mabille and Marc Desalliers represent former Congolese militia leader Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, who stands trial at The Hague’s International Criminal Court (ICC) for conscripting and using child soldiers. The lawyers have complained about ongoing problems during the trial.

How do you perceive this trial so far?
CM: Some intermediaries have prepared witnesses and told them to present the court with false allegations. It is very difficult for the court to face these kinds of problems. It seems that investigations have not been done properly, which is a big issue. I think that how our case has been handled is exactly what the international court must not do. Right now we are in the middle of our defence, but I think the way things have been carried out so far is very problematic for this court.

What about the credibility of the prosecution’s witnesses?
MD: What we said to the court is that some individuals have given false testimonies on purpose, and we are trying to provide evidence (for this). Some people were being prepared to tell lies. That is a major issue.

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