Criminal court starts hearing first case

The International Criminal Court in The Hague begins hearing its first case on Monday, over 10 years since an international treaty called for its foundation.

On trial is Thomas Lubanga who is charged with recruiting child soldiers to fight in the eastern province of the Democratic Republic of Congo between September 2002 and August 2003.
Judges have recognised 93 people as victims, the ICC said in a statement. Some 34 witnesses for the prosecution will be called, including several former child soldiers.
The prosecution’s case is expected to last several months.
The ICC is the world’s first permanent tribunal to try those suspected of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Its establishment is based on a treaty signed in Rome in 1998. The court is recognised by 108 countries, but not the United States.

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