Millions have died in the conflict in DR Congo
A former Congolese colonel on trial in the Netherlands has denied crimes against humanity in DR Congo during the civil war in the 1990s.
24 March, 2004
Sebastien Nzapali, known as "the king of the beasts", faces charges of torture and rape during the regime of the late dictator Mobutu Sese Seko.
Dutch prosecutors asked for a five-year prison sentence.
This is the first case of war crimes committed in another country to reach a Dutch national court.
Mr Nzapali rejected the allegations against him and called his indictment a "manipulation".
He applied for political asylum in the Netherlands in 1998.
But the Dutch authorities only granted him temporary status because they suspected he was guilty of war crimes.
He was allowed to stay until he was arrested in September 2003 after three Congolese nationals in Congo filed charges against him.
Mr Nzapali is being tried under the 1984 UN Convention against Torture.
The BBC's Geraldine Coughlan in The Hague says this puts the Netherlands on a similar legal footing as Belgium.
There, national courts have jurisdiction over war crimes committed abroad.
Prosecutors hope to send out a signal that there is no refuge for war criminals in the Netherlands.
They set up a special genocide and war crimes team five years ago, to seek out suspects hiding in the country and try them under Dutch law.
The court is to give its verdict in two weeks' time.