On Monday, the International Criminal Court (ICC) released a statement that Thomas Lubanga’s pending release from custody due to procedural issues – mistakes the prosecution made regarding confidentiality of key evidence – has been suspended. He will remain in custody until the final ruling on the appeal.
As mentioned in this earlier posting, Lubanga, accused of kidnapping and recruiting child soldiers by the thousands in the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), faced the possibility of release after five days.
Thankfully, the ICC recognized the impact his release would have both on his victims and on the region, acknowledging that it could further ignite regional violence. From Reuters:
The judges said last week they had given full consideration to the fears of Lubanga’s alleged victims, who have warned that freeing the former warlord could ignite a “fire ball” in Congo’s volatile Ituri region.