The reasons for the decision taken today by the Judges will be given shortly by the Appeals Chamber.
On 2 July 2008 Trial Chamber I ordered the release of Mr Thomas Lubanga. According to the Judges, the release was the "logical consequence" of the stay on the proceedings imposed on 13 June 2008, as it is at present impossible to secure a fair trial for the accused. No finding was made so far as to his guilt or innocence. However, the order granting release should not be enforced until the expiry of the five day time-limit for the filing of the appeal.
Prosecution filed an appeal against this decision and requested Urgent Application for Suspensive Effect of the appeal on 2 July 2008.
On 17 March 2006, Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, the founder and leader of the Union des patriotes congolais (Union of Congolese Patriots) was arrested and surrendered to the Court upon a warrant of arrest issued by Pre-Trial Chamber I at the request of the Prosecutor.
On 29 January 2007, Pre-Trial Chamber I confirmed the charges brought by the Prosecutor against Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, namely war crimes consisting of conscripting and enlisting children under the age of 15 into the FPLC, the military wing of the Union des patriotes congolais (UPC), and using them to participate actively in hostilities in Ituri, from September 2002 to 13 August 2003.
The Prosecutor v. Thomas Lubanga Dyilo is the first case to arise from the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC); the second case is The Prosecutor v. Germain Katanga & Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui, and the third case is The Prosecutor v. Bosco Ntaganda. Investigations are ongoing in the DRC.