The Hague, March 21, 2012 (FH) - The International Criminal Court (ICC) could charge intermediaries used by the Prosecution to investigate Thomas Lubanga’s case for inciting witnesses to make false testimonies.

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In the judgment handed down on March 14, judges rejected twelve Prosecution testimonies after considering them “unreliable”.


Judges also requested the Prosecution to sue three intermediaries used for the investigation for “offences against the administration of justice”.


Intermediaries are non-court staff who may cooperate with the court in implementing various aspects of the Courts work.


The Prosecution had hired intermediaries for its investigation for security reasons. Investigating officers did not meet the witnesses identified by these intermediaries in their villages but interviewed them during short trips to Bunia, the DRC or Uganda.


During the trial, Lubanga’s defence proved that several witnesses gave false testimonies. “The Chamber is of the view that the prosecution should not have delegated its investigative responsibilities to the intermediaries in the way set out above, notwithstanding the extensive security difficulties it faced”, the judges wrote.


“An additional consequence of the lack of proper oversight of the intermediaries is that they were potentially able to take advantage of the witnesses they contacted”, they added.


Regarding Intermediary 143, the Chamber noted that “bearing in mind this consistent lack of credibility as regards the trial witnesses he introduced to the investigators, and particularly focusing on the cumulative effect of their individual accounts, it is likely that as the common point of contact he persuaded, encouraged or assisted some or all of them to give false testimony”.


Intermediary 121 could be charged for telling children “that an NGO would assist them to secure schooling and to learn a trade, and they would receive money”.


Intermediary 316 is suspected of having “persuaded witnesses to lie as to their involvement as child soldiers within the UPC”.

Congolese former militia leader was found guilty of conscripting and using child soldiers to fight in Ituri (eastern Democratic Republic of Congo) from September 1, 2002 to August 13, 2003. Lubanga now faces sentencing for war crimes in a separate hearing yet to be announced.


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