The International Criminal Court at the Hague has finally given the go-ahead for the trial against Thomas Lubanga, known child soldier recruiter in Congo from 2002 to 2003. Lubanga will be the first defendant tried before the court, and it is the first trial to deal with the issue of child soldier usage.
The court in The Hague lifted its suspension of the case against Mr. Lubanga after the prosecution submitted to demands to hand over confidential evidence it had received from the United Nations.
The official transcript of the ruling from the ICC website: Stay of proceedings in the Lubanga case is lifted – trial provisionally scheduled for 26 January 2009
Excerpts from the Nov 18 press release:
Today, Trial Chamber I decided to lift the stay of proceedings in the case of The Prosecutor v. Thomas Lubanga Dyilo that had been imposed on 13 June 2008. The judges provisionally suggested the date of Monday, 26 January 2009, for the commencement of the trial.
Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, the founder and leader of the Union des patriotes congolais (UPC) is accused namely of war crimes consisting of conscripting and enlisting children under the age of 15 into the FPLC, the military wing of the UPC, and using them to participate actively in hostilities in Ituri, from September 2002 to August 2003.