World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

IIC Hearings Start - Move Against Impunity

International Criminal Court Hearings Start in Case Seen by UN as Move Against Impunity

New York, Nov 9 2006 4:00PM

Hearings began today to determine whether a former militia leader in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) accused of recruiting child soldiers will be the first person tried before the International Criminal Court (ICC), in a case which United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has described as sending a message that impunity will not be tolerated.

Thomas Lubanga Dyilo was formally charged by the ICC Prosecutor’s office in August with enlisting and conscripting children under the age of 15 and using them to participate actively in hostilities.

The hearings, which will last until 28 November at the ICC’s headquarters in The Hague, Netherlands, will determine whether there is enough evidence to establish substantial grounds to believe that Mr. Lubanga Dyilo committed the crimes charged.

Mr. Lubanga Dyilo, who was arrested in March, is the President of the Union des Patriotes Congolais (UPC) and was the commander-in-chief of its former military wing, the Forces Patriotiques pour la Libération du Congo (FPLC) in 2002-03 in the Ituri district in the north-eastern DRC.

He is accused of playing “an overall coordinating role” in the policy of the FPLC to recruit and enlist child soldiers and providing the “organizational, infrastructural and logistical framework for its implementation.”

In August, ICC Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo described the charges as “just the first step in the case… We believe our evidence is strong,” he said. “However, until his guilt is established, Thomas Lubanga Dyilo is presumed innocent.”

In March, Mr. Annan said he was very pleased with Mr. Lubanga Dyilo’s arrest. “It’s a very good example for other,” he told a news conference in Kinshasa, the DRC capital. “It is a message that impunity cannot be accepted, and international community working with the Government must to everything to ensure that this kind of activity cannot continue.”

Established by the Rome Statute of 1998, the ICC can try cases involving individuals charged with war crimes committed since July 2002. The UN Security Council, the ICC Prosecutor or a State Party to the court can initiate any proceedings, and the ICC only acts when countries themselves are unwilling or unable to investigate or prosecute.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

APEC : Leaders Issue Kuala Lumpur Declaration

The leaders of the 21 APEC member economies issued the Kuala Lumpur Declaration following the first-ever virtual 27th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting chaired by Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin. Convening for the first time since the ... More>>

UN: Refugee Resettlement Numbers Fall To Lowest In Two Decades

Refugee resettlement numbers will be at a “record low” this year, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said on Wednesday, with only 15,425 people resettled in the first nine months of 2020, compared to more than 50,000 in 2019. In 2016, resettlement ... More>>

G20: Global Co-Operation And Strong Policy Action Needed For A Sustainable Recovery

The COVID-19 crisis has exposed major weaknesses in our economies that can only be fixed through greater global co-operation and strong, targeted policy action, according to a new OECD report presented to the Leaders of the G20 countries at their ... More>>

OECD: GDP Rebounded By 9.0% In The Third Quarter Of 2020 But Remains Below Pre-Pandemic High

Following the unprecedented falls in real gross domestic product (GDP) in the first half of the year in the wake of COVID-19 containment measures, GDP in the OECD area rebounded by 9.0% in the third quarter of 2020 but it remains 4.3% below its pre-crisis ... More>>