Lubanga turns interesting

Usually, court proceedings in The Hague are mindbogglingly boring.

With lawyers rambling on for hours on ends about one minor element in some poor witnesses testimony, which I am sure has some relevance somewhere (in someone’s mind) but for us mere mortals, not of the legal persuasion, appears utterly pointless.

Sometimes, listening to witness testimony at the International Criminal Court can be worse than sitting through a session of the European Parliament. Or grinding your balls in a nutcracker.

A colleague of mine thinks this could be because I mainly listen to the French cases – namely that of Thomas Lubanga and the separate one of Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo.

True, when I did tune in some weeks ago to the Charles Taylor one – taking place before the Special Court of Sierra Leone – it did seem measurably more captivating. But this might have been because they were talking about the natives eating one another, rather than because Charles – good looking and charming – was speaking in English.

Anyway, all this is by way of warming up to say that, this week, the Lubanga trial did finally turn interesting.

You can read about it here, the main highlight being that the Lubanga’s defence lawyers directly accused the prosecution of grooming the witnesses beforehand. With this (pretty serious) accusation, they are hoping to discredit all of the witnesses called and move for a discontinuation of the trial.

Gritty stuff. And fairly substantial allegations.

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