The ICC prosecutor made his opening statements today in the case of Thomas Lubanga Dyalo, a Congolese militia leader accused of using child soldiers. Lubanga has the dubious honor of being the first-ever case tried before the International Criminal Court.
Over the course of the next year, the prosecution will call 30 witnesses–including former child soldiers–who will to testify to Lubanga’s guilt. The trial, though, almost never happened. There were significant prosecutorial missteps early on, including accusations that the prosecutor did not turn over potential exculpatory evidence as is required. The judges, though, decided to let the trial commence. A Bolivian, British and Costa Rican judge will preside over the hearing.
This video of highlights from today’s hearing–including an extended excerpt of the prosecutor’s opening statement–just landed in my inbox. Great to see that the ICC people are new media savvy.
This is what a modern day international war crimes tribunal looks like. Get used to it. The ICC’s work is just beginning.