The closing statements in the case Prosecutor v. Thomas Lubanga Dyilo started today, 25 August 2011, before Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court (ICC). They will continue tomorrow with the closing statements of the Defence. Thomas Lubanga Dyilo is accused of having committed, as a co-perpetrator, war crimes of enlisting and conscripting children under the age of 15 years into the Forces patriotiques pour la libération du Congo (Patriotic Forces for the Liberation of the Congo) (FPLC), and using them to participate actively in hostilities in Ituri, a district of the eastern province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, between September 2002 and August 2003.
This is the first case tried before the ICC. Its importance for the development of international law and beyond lies on its focus on child soldiers. There remain approximately 250 thousand child soldiers all over the world, despite the prohibition of their conscription or enlisting in the army under customary international law, international humanitarian law and international human rights. Today Deputy Prosecutor of the ICC, Mrs. Fatou Bensouda, told the Trial Chamber presided by Judge Adrian Fulford that the evidence proved Thomas Lubanga’s guilt, ‘beyond any possible doubt.’ Tomorrow is the turn of the Defence to present their views as to why the Prosecution did not meet their burden of proof.
For the case information sheet of this case read here.