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Apr 22, 6:36 AM EDT

ICC postpones start of Congolese militia leader's trial

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THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) -- International Criminal Court judges have postponed the trial of a former Congolese militia leader as the court considers whether opening statements in the case can be made in Congo.

Bosco Ntaganda is charged with crimes including murder, rape, sexual slavery and using child soldiers in the eastern Congolese province of Ituri from 2002-2003. His trial had been scheduled to start June 2, but judges on Wednesday pushed back the date until the second or third week of July.

Defense lawyers had sought a delay until November, while court officials said a month's delay would likely be necessary if the trial is to start in Congo.

Ntaganda was indicted in 2006, but was only sent to the court in 2013 after he fled to neighboring Rwanda.

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