From Tuesday until Thursday, Judges at the International Criminal Court will listen to the final arguments in the case of Congolese warlord Bosco Ntaganda.
Ntaganda, aged about 44, was founder of the M23 rebel group that was defeated by UN-backed government troops in November of 2013.
He surrendered to a US embassy in Kigali and asked to be taken to The Hague, Netherlands.
Prosecution at the Hague-based tribunal said Ntaganda’s rebel army in 2002 and 2003 inflicted terror in the vast northeast Congolese province of Ituri, where they unleashed horrific abuses on local inhabitants.
The ICC’s chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said during earlier hearings that this warlord played a “key role” in these attacks, using child soldiers and capturing sex slaves, while attacking civilians on ethnic grounds.
She said that Gen. Ntaganda planned operations for his Patriotic Forces for the Liberation of Congo (FPLC).
Ntaganda is accused by prosecutors that he led a November 2002 attack on the gold mining town of Mongbwalu that lasted six days and left 200 villagers dead.
In total, Gen. Ntaganda is charged with 18 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity before the International Criminal Court.
However, Gen. Ntaganda in September 2015 pleaded not guilty.
“I never attacked civilians, on the other hand I have always protected them,” Ntaganda said when he spoke in 2015 for the first time since his arrest.