Coming nine years after the court's first Prosecutor was elected and only a few months before he is due to leave office, the verdict will be an opportunity to assess the efficacy of the prosecution's work.
According to Human Rights Watch (HRW), Lubanga's militia, Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC), was "implicated in widespread killings, torture and rape". However, Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo's strategy was to focus on a very limited set of charges. Wednesday's sentence will prove this strategy right or wrong.
The trial opened in January 2009. The accused had been incarcerated in Kinshasa since March 2005 before being transferred to The Hague in March 2006. All parties presented their closing arguments in August 2011.
After the judgment is issued, both parties will be have 30 days to file an appeal.
© Hirondelle News Agency