International court starts first sitting

The first sitting of the new International Criminal Court in The Hague opened today with the pre-trial hearing of Congolese militia leader Thomas Lubanga. He is accused of press-ganging children as young as 10 to fight as child soldiers in the civil war.

The stories of three girls and three boys are central to the case. The court was set up in 2002 to try individuals accused of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.
It is supported by a treaty signed by 102 countries, but not the US. Although based in The Hague, cases can be tried anywhere.

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