The lead defence counsel Catherine Mabille noted on day 2 that:
‘there has been a wholesale abuse of the rules by the office of the prosecutor,’ and ‘the (situation) is prejudicial and detrimental to the defence.’
She further noted:
‘there has been a wholesale abuse of the rules by the office of the prosecutor. The [situation] is prejudicial and detrimental to the defence.’
In this way, she asked:
‘How can we have a fair trial under [these] conditions?’
Defence counsel Jean-Marie Biju-Duval noted:
‘The prosecution has chosen to spare those who bear the highest responsibility and rather focus on somebody there is a desire to eliminate for political reasons,’ and ‘those who are the most powerful in the Ituri [region] are spared.’
The Prosecution called its first anonymous witness on day 3, who told the court that:
‘what I said earlier, was not what I intended to say’.
The Deputy Prosecutor then asked:
‘I’m not asking you what the (aid group) told you,’
‘Did you attend the training camp?’
The witness answered:
Presiding Judge Adrian Fulford thereafter asked the witness if his statement was true or false. The witness noted:
“It’s not true,”
The trial continues today.
Of course this is just one witness, but it’s indeed worrying if the first witness the prosecutor calls to the stands appears to have been lying about being forced by militia men reportedly commanded by Lubanga and having been taken to a training camp for child soldiers. Not so much because the prosecutor’s case was seriously weakened; but it raises the question why the witness changed his story (e.g. the fear for criminal or quasi-criminal charges in the DRC), and what kind of “coaching” he had received from “humanitarian aid groups”.