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Investigator's Deposition Taken in Closed Session

An investigator of the prosecution office of the International Criminal Court (ICC) is currently giving evidence in Thomas Lubanga’s war crimes trial by deposition in closed session that is anticipated to last throughout the week. According to prosecutors, he will give evidence on general matters related to the use and management of intermediaries and on his specific dealings with ‘intermediary 316.’

Prosecution investigators are responsible for managing intermediaries and their dealings with witnesses. The investigator’s testimony is in response to allegations by ‘witness 15’ who testified earlier that ‘intermediary 316’ bribed him to falsely claim that he had served as a child soldier in the Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC), which is the group Mr. Lubanga allegedly commanded. 

The trial chamber ruled on Friday, November 12, 2010, that the investigator’s testimony could be taken by deposition. In this procedure, both parties and two representatives of victims will question the witness under supervision of the legal adviser of the court’s Division of Court Services. By court decision, the investigator, who is known as ‘witness 582,’ has been allowed to view transcripts of evidence given by ‘intermediary 316’ and ‘intermediary 321,’ both of whom have been accused of bribing and coaching witnesses. The investigator has also been permitted to review his own testimony and any relevant files.

Mr. Lubanga is on trial at the ICC over recruitment, enlistment, and use of child soldiers in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Regular trial sessions are scheduled to resume on Monday, November 22.