The trial resumed on Monday, February 23 with the cross-examination of the witness who testified last week that he had been captured by the UPC on three separate occasions. Most of the day’s proceedings took place in a closed-session.
On Tuesday, the defense finished their cross-examination and questioned the witness on discrepancies in his testimony, specifically the number of ammunition cartridges that were in the machine gun he was given by the UPC. The defense asked, “How many cartridges were there in the [ammunition] magazine?” to which the witness replied, “Thirty-two bullets.” Yet, as the defense pointed out, in his original statement he stated each contained 42 bullets.
The following day a new witness took the stand, a former child solider, who testified that he and other child soldiers were ordered to rape girls by their commanders:
When we were sent to get girls from families [in the village], the commanders said to … carry out activities which were not good …These [activities] entailed taking girls by force. That is, raping them and taking them to the place where we lived.
On Thursday, Defense attorney Jean-Marie Biju-Duval pressed the witness on inconsistencies in his testimony concerning his abduction by UPC soldiers and the statement he gave investigators in 2005.
The trial wrapped on Friday with the testimony of another former child soldier, who explained to the Court that he willingly joined the UPC and was not enlisted. He also testified that the girl child soldiers would make food and were taken as the “wives” of officers.
The trial resumes Monday.