War crimes court to begin hearing first-ever case today
Published 09/11/2006 | 09:33
The International Criminal Court set up a number of years ago to deal with suspected war criminals is due to begin hearing its first-ever case today.
The Hague-based court was established in 2002 to hear war crimes cases in situations where national judicial systems are unwilling or unable to investigate and prosecute suspected perpetrators.
It begins pre-trial hearings today in the case against Thomas Lubanga, a militia leader from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Lubanga is accused of conscripting child soldiers to fight in the brutal war in the north-east of the African country and faces a possible life sentence if convicted.
This week's hearing will determine if there is enough evidence to proceed with a full trial, which could last for several months.