International Criminal Court Issues First Sentence
ARIS — The International Criminal Court in the Hague issued its first sentence on Tuesday, sending a Congolese warlord to prison for 14 years for using child soldiers in his rebel army in 2002 and 2003.
Thomas Lubanga, a former psychologist turned warlord, was earlier found guilty of "widespread’’ use of girls and boys under the age of 15, recruiting them in his militia and sending them to kill and terrorize villagers in the Congo region of Ituri.
The presiding judge, Adrian Fulford, said the sentence reflected the need to protect children but it fell far short of the 30 years the prosecution had asked for.
Taking into account the six years Mr. Lubanga has spent in custody, he will serve eight years, but this may be further reduced because of a common practice of releasing prisoners after two-thirds of their sentence. Judge Fulford made a point of praising Mr. Lubanga for his conduct and cooperation in court.
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