THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) -- A rebel leader known as "The Terminator" has told judges trying him at the International Criminal Court that he was a professional soldier who never attacked civilians and tried to restore peace during a brutal conflict in eastern Congo.
Speaking Thursday on the second day of his trial on 18 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, Bosco Ntaganda said, "I have never attacked civilians ... I have always protected them."
His comments were a stark contrast to how prosecutors portray Ntaganda -- as the leader of a rebel militia that murdered, raped and persecuted innocent villagers in the Ituri region of Congo during a brutal conflict there from 2002-2003.
Ntaganda also denied allegations by prosecutors that he has attempted to influence witnesses.