, THE HAGUE, Dec 1 – The International Criminal Court on Monday upheld Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga’s conviction for using child soldiers in his rebel army, handing down its first-ever appeals verdict.
“The Appeals Chamber by majority confirms the conviction decision and rejects the appeal,” presiding judge Erkki Kourula said at the court based in The Hague.
The ICC convicted Lubanga in March 2012 of war crimes, specifically for using minors in the conflict in the volatile eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, and sentenced him to 14 years in prison.
He was found guilty of abducting children as young as 11 from homes, schools or football fields and forcing them to fight and commit atrocities.
Dressed in a traditional white African robe with blue embroidery, Lubanga listened intently as the verdict was being read.