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Witness Testifies in Closed Session

The fourth day of testimony by an unnamed witness in the trial of Thomas Lubanga proceeded almost entirely in closed session on Tuesday, as judges cited concerns that sensitive information might be made public.

The testimony was closed when Lubanga’s defense lawyer, Catherine Mabille, asked the witness about statements he gave to the prosecution early in the investigation.

“You indicated that Thomas Lubanga is from [the town of] Bule in your statement,” Mabille said. “How did you obtain that information?”

Before the witness could respond, and in what became a pattern throughout the afternoon, the judge ordered the court closed, saying that the answer could potentially reveal names and other sensitive details.

Last week, the witness told the court that he regularly visited the headquarters of Lubanga’s Union of Congolese Patriots organization and spoke to its leadership, including Lubanga, and saw “hundreds” of child soldiers being trained at the militia’s camps.

He also said that Bosco Ntaganda-a militia commander who is wanted by the International Criminal Court-was in charge of the training.

He added that Lubanga was the political leader and commander in chief of the army. “That is, that there was no other person above him to command the army,” the witness told the court last week.