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Judge: Lights Needed for Closed Sessions

Judge Adrian Fulford on Friday directed court officers to install a signal light system for closed sessions in order to better protect witnesses.

The directive came during the continuing testimony of a former junior commander in the Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC) militia, who briefly provided information in a public session that was supposed to be closed.

“It seems that it would be extremely helpful, given the questions today about whether or not we are in public or private session, for there to be a light system instituted of the kind I indicated a few days ago,” said the judge.

He directed the court officer to meet with technicians to install a light signaling system that would indicate closed or open sessions in progress.

Fulford said the lights should be “installed immediately in front of the witness so that everyone, but most particularly including the witness, can see, so that it is immediately apparent as to whether or not we are in private or public session.”

On Friday, the junior officer continued his testimony mostly in closed session at the prosecution’s request and sometimes at his own request.

The witness said that the UPC had training camps at Bunia, Rwampara, Bule, Fataki, and near Aru. Although there were children, including female child soldiers, at the training camps, the witness said, most recruits were adults.

When asked by prosecutor Manoj Sachdeva where the UPC got its arms and uniforms, the witness asked to respond in closed session.

Additionally on Friday, Judge Fulford commented on behavior in the public gallery after an individual had apparently pointed at Lubanga.

“This is a court of law, not a public spectacle or entertainment. Please don’t point at individuals in court, in particular (don’t point) at the accused who is entitled to his dignity,” Fulford said.

“Don’t treat this as if it is a zoo where people inside are to be pointed at and laughed at as has happened in the last 5 or 10 minutes,” he said.


  1. Is that hearing not yet on ICC website? It seems there’s a really great delay there…

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