Mar. 14 - In its first ever verdict U.N. war crimes court finds a Congolese warlord guilty of recruiting and deploying child soldiers during a five-year conflict until 2003. Simon Hanna reports.
The International Criminal Court in the Hague hands down its first ever verdict after 10 years of work. The court found Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga Dyilo guilty of recruiting and deploying child soldiers during a five year conflict. An estimated 60,000 people were killed between 1998 and 2003. Fifty-one-year-old Lubanga could face up to life imprisonment, although a sentence will not be passed immediately. UNCHR Ambassador Angelina Jolie was present in the public gallery when the judges handed down their verdict. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ACTRESS AND UNCHR AMBASSADOR, ANGELINA JOLIE: "The most important thing is, this is a very young court, very new court, this particular case was about conscription of child soldiers, so many witnesses, over sixty people came in, young people came in, and spoke about what happened to them and because they were unable to have court proceedings in their country they asked for this, the victims asked for this, the country asked for this." The conviction could help increase the momentum in other prominent cases, such as that against former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo. Simon Hanna, Reuters.