– Ongoing crimes –
Geraldine Mattioli-Zeltner of Human Rights Watch said the final verdict “puts a dent into impunity for grave crimes committed in Congo.”
“Yet horrific crimes are still being committed in Congo, and the ICC prosecutor should continue investigations with a view to bringing new cases.”
Lubanga’s case has not been without controversy, with judges ordering in 2010 that Lubanga be freed after accusing former ICC chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo’s office of abuse of process for failing to disclose the name of someone who had interviewed witnesses.
That decision was also overturned on appeal.
The ICC said Lubanga remains “for the time being” in detention at the ICC’s high security detention unit in a seaside suburb of The Hague.
Alison Cole, legal officer at the New York-based Open Society for Justice said the ICC’s decision to reject Lubanga’s appeal was a “victory for the prosecution.”
But, she added, the prosecutor’s office would also want to “learn from their mistakes,” at the end of their first-ever completed case, she told AFP.