International court convicts Congolese warlord Katanga of war crimes

Source: Reuters - Fri, 7 Mar 2014 10:02 GMT
Author: Reuters
Congolese warlords Germain Katanga sits in the courtroom of the International Criminal Court in The Hague November 24, 2009. REUTERS/Michael Kooren
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THE HAGUE, March 7 (Reuters) - The Congolese warlord Germain Katanga was on Friday convicted of being an accessory to crimes including murder and pillage committed during an attack on a village in a diamond-rich region of Congo in 2003, in which some 200 civilians were killed.

Reading the verdict, only the second conviction in the International Criminal Court's 11-year history, presiding judge Bruno Cotte said that without Katanga's aid in procuring firearms, the attack would not have been as bloody.

"Absent that supply of weapons ... commanders would not have been able to carry out the attack with such efficiency," Cotte said at the conclusion of the five-year trial. The court acquitted Katanga of charges of direct involvement in the attack.

(Reporting by Thomas Escritt; Editing by Alison Williams)

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