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Child Soldier to Testify Again

The former child soldier who abruptly recanted his testimony nearly two weeks ago will take the stand again on Tuesday, February 10, 2009, presiding Judge Adrian Fulford confirmed today.

People present in the courtroom will be reduced to a “bare minimum” to ensure the comfort of the witness, Fulford said.

In addition, the witness will not be directly visible to Lubanga, as he was during his last court appearance. Instead, he will enter the courtroom before the defendant and remain completely shielded during his testimony.

The unnamed boy, who was the prosecution’s first witness, initially told the court that he had been kidnapped on his way home from school and taken to a training camp for Thomas Lubanga’s militia.

He later denied that and suggested that a humanitarian aid group had coached him on what to say.

While much of Monday’s hearing proceeded in closed session, the defense completed a three-day cross-examination of the boy’s father, who was a militia soldier and one of Lubanga’s bodyguards. 

At the conclusion of the father’s testimony, Judge Fulford took a moment to thank him:

“We are acutely conscious of the inconvenience this has caused you,” Fulford said. “You leave this court with our profound gratitude.”