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First verdict by the International Criminal Court

By Norway - Ministry of Foreign Affairs
First verdict by the International Criminal Court
First verdict by the International Criminal Court
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OSLO, Norway, July 13, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- “The verdict against the Congolese militia leader Thomas Lubanga Dyilo is an important step forward in the fight against impunity for the most serious international crimes,” said Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre.

Today the International Criminal Court sentenced Thomas Lubanga Dyilo to 14 years' imprisonment. This is the first verdict issued by the ICC since it was established in 2002.

“The verdict sends a powerful signal to both states and militia leaders that using child soldiers in hostilities is a serious international crime that must be prosecuted at international level,” said Mr Støre.

The case is one of the few international criminal cases where an individual has been convicted for recruiting and using child soldiers. The trial has helped to raise international awareness of the use of child soldiers as a serious crime of concern to the international community.

“The testimonies of a number of former child soldiers before the court made a deep impression on me,” said Mr Store.

The judgment is not yet final and may be appealed by either the convicted person or the Prosecutor.