Congolese ‘Terminator’ verdict due at ICC

Judges at the International Criminal Court are preparing to hand down a verdict in the case of Bosco Ntaganda nicknamed The Terminator.

He is a former child soldier accused of 13 counts of war crimes and five counts of crimes against humanity. These include murder and rape allegedly committed during the conflict in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2002 and 2003.

The former military commander denies the charges.

Mr Ntaganda was kidnapped as a child and groomed to be a soldier.

His lawyers asked the judges to treat him not as a warlord but victim of circumstance born into a conflict that has claimed tens of thousands of lives.

The prosecutor argued this was no excuse for ruthless attacks committed in adulthood.

The charge sheet is long, and harrowing: women and young girls raped or kept as sex slaves, civilians murdered, children conscripted into his rebel forces and used to fight on the frontline.

This case matters to the thousands of survivors across the east of the DR Congo, whose hopes and expectations now rest in The Hague.

Source: BBC

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