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Defense Questions Story Details

Defense lawyers pressed a former child soldier today on details surrounding his kidnapping and enlistment into the Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC).

Earlier this week, the witness told prosecutors that he was taken by soldiers on his way home from school and transported by truck to a military training camp in the Ituri town of Mandro.

“You have stated that this trip…took some two and a half hours, correct?” asked Marc Desalliers, one of Lubanga’s lawyers.

“That’s true,” answered the witness. “But I didn’t have a watch to check. That’s an estimation.”

When Desalliers suggested that the trip from the witness’s village to the camp in Mandro was only 30 minutes, the witness disagreed.

“You need to go evaluate that,” he told Desalliers.

The witness was equally adamant when Desalliers told him that it was impossible for a truck to drive inside the Mandro camp.

“Well, what I would say to you is that before you suggest such things, you need to go and see for yourself,” the witness answered.

The majority of today’s cross examination was conducted in closed session. The trial will resume on Tuesday, June 9.