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ICC acquits DRC warlord

Dec. 18, 2012 at 12:08 PM

THE HAGUE, Netherlands, Dec. 18 (UPI) -- The International Criminal Court unanimously declared Congolese warlord Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui not guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The rebel leader was charged on three counts of crimes against humanity and seven counts of war crimes for atrocities allegedly committed in Democratic Republic of Congo in 2003. The court ruled Tuesday that "it has not been proven beyond a reasonable doubt" that he served as a commander of rebel forces suspected of attacks a Congolese village.

The court, however, said the ruling doesn't mean crimes weren't committed. Chui was accused of leading the Patriotic Resistance Forces of Ituri, which allegedly killed 200 people in DRC in 2003, reports Bloomberg News.

The ICC in July sentenced Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga to 14 years in prison for conscripting child soldiers and using children as personal bodyguards during fighting in DRC in 2002 and '03.

Lubanga's deputy, Bosco Ntaganda, serves as the leader of the rebel March 23 movement, which is accused of war crimes during recent fighting in the country. The U.S. Treasury Department announced Tuesday that M23 leaders Baudoin Ngaruye and Innocent Kaina were sanctioned for their alleged recruitment of child soldiers.

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