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ICC Announces Delay in First War Crimes Trial


The International Criminal Court has announced a three-month delay in the start of its first trial -- that of a Congolese militia leader accused of using child soldiers.

The court said Thursday that the trial of Thomas Lubanga will start June 23.

The trial was set to begin March 31, but was held up after defense lawyers said prosecutors had not disclosed all the evidence as required by the court.

Lubanga led a militia in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo during the country's 1998 to 2003 civil war. He is charged with recruiting thousands of children under the age of 15 to fight.

Lubanga has denied the charges.

On Wednesday, the court said Lubanga's trial would be held entirely in The Hague, in the Netherlands. The court had considered holding part of the trial in Congo but Judge Adrian Fulford said the DRC government warned that such a move would fuel ethnic tension in the country.

Two other former Congolese militia leaders -- Germain Katanga and Mathiew Ndugjolo also face trial by the court.

The court said Tuesday it would try them together for their roles in a 2003 attack that destroyed an eastern Congolese village and killed some 200 people.

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