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ICC Transfers Two Militia Leaders to DRC

  • VOA News

Germain Katanga, a Congolese National, sits during his trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague, May 23, 2014.

Germain Katanga, a Congolese National, sits during his trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague, May 23, 2014.

The International Criminal Court in The Hague has sent two Congolese militia leaders back to the Democratic Republic of Congo to finish serving their sentences for war crimes.

The ICC announced Saturday that Germain Katanga and Thomas Lubanga have been transferred to detention in the DRC.

The court said it is the first time it has designated a state to implement a sentence imposed by the ICC. It said both men had expressed a preference for serving their time in their home country.

The court also said the enforcement of the sentences will be subject to supervision of the court and consistent with international standards governing the treatment of prisoners.

FILE - Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga is seen at his appeals hearing at the International Criminal Court in The Hague Dec. 1, 2014.

FILE - Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga is seen at his appeals hearing at the International Criminal Court in The Hague Dec. 1, 2014.

Katanga was sentenced last year to 12 years in prison for crimes that include being an accessory to murder in a 2003 attack on the village of Bogoro.

Two hundred people were killed in that attack, either shot or hacked to death with machetes. Katanga was convicted of helping to supply the weapons.

Katanga's sentence has been reduced because of good behavior and because he has shown remorse for his actions. He is now set to complete his sentence January 18.

Lubanga was sentenced in 2012 to 14 years in prison for using child soldiers in his militia during fighting in the eastern DRC region of Ituri between September 2002 and August 2003.

He, too, applied for early release, but the court deemed his request "unjustified."

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