(THE HAGUE) The trial of Congo war crimes suspect Thomas Lubanga will restart on January 26 as prosecutors are now releasing key documents to the defence, judges at the International Criminal Court said on Tuesday.I say, lock him up for life and throw away the key.
The world's first permanent war crimes tribunal halted the trial of the Congolese militia leader in June due to concerns he could be denied a fair trial as the defence could not view some evidence against him. Lubanga remained in detention.
Lubanga, handed over to the court in 2006, is accused of enlisting and conscripting children under the age of 15 in Democratic Republic of Congo's northeastern Ituri district. He has denied the charges.
The trial was halted when the prosecution could not share about 150 documents from the United Nations and other sources that could help Lubanga's case because they were provided on the condition of confidentiality to protect sources on the ground.
The prosecution has now resolved the confidentiality issues and the ICC said in a statement it was lifting the stay on proceedings. It gave the prosecution until 1500 GMT on November 19 to arrange complete disclosure of the documents to the defence.
The court last month ruled that by refusing to disclose the documents, prosecutors had effectively prevented the court from assessing evidence and determining whether a fair trial was possible.
The halt to Lubanga's trial was seen as a major setback for the court set up in 2002, which now has 106 member states and is also investigating crimes in Sudan's Darfur region, Uganda and the Central African Republic.
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UPDATE on Thursday, 20 Nov 2008: ICC says Thomas Lubanga Dyilo will remain in custody
Thomas Lubanga Dyilo will remain in custody
During a hearing today, Trial Chamber I decided not to grant the release nor provisional release of Mr Thomas Lubanga Dyilo.
Stay of proceedings in the Lubanga case is lifted - trial provisionally scheduled for 26 January 2009
Today, Trial Chamber I decided to lift the stay of proceedings in the case of The Prosecutor v. Thomas Lubana Dyilo that had been imposed on 13 June 2008.
Media Advisory: Public hearing of the Lubanga case on 18 November 2008
On Tuesday 18 November 2008, Trial Chamber I is scheduled to hold a public Status Conference on the Lubanga case