Congolese rebel Ntaganda testifying in his defense at ICC

AP News
Posted: Jun 14, 2017 11:38 AM

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — A Congolese rebel leader on trial at the International Criminal Court has begun testifying in his own defense, saying that as a young soldier he helped end the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

Bosco Ntaganda, an ethnic Tutsi from Rwanda, briefly took the stand Wednesday afternoon at the start of weeks of questioning by his defense lawyer and cross-examination by prosecutors.

He said that after seeing the horrors of the Rwandan genocide, in which hundreds of thousands of Tutsis were massacred, "I told myself that I do not wish to see any other community experience what my own community went through."

Ntaganda has pleaded not guilty to 13 war crimes and five crimes against humanity including murder, rape and using child soldiers, allegedly committed in eastern Congo in 2002-2003.