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First Witness Recants Testimony at Congo War Crimes Trial


The landmark trial of a Congolese war crimes suspect has been temporarily adjourned after the first witness suddenly recanted his earlier testimony.

The young man was testifying Wednesday against Thomas Lubanga, the first suspect to go on trial at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

The witness, whose name was not released, initially said Lubanga's men recruited him off a street and sent him to a military training camp. But after a break, the witness told the court his earlier account was incorrect.

Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda requested a delay to investigate what caused the man to change his testimony, and to review measures designed to protect his safety.

Lubanga, a former Congolese militia leader, is accused of recruiting and using children under the age of 15 as soldiers during hostilities in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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