Published: Sun, June 10, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

ICC overturns Bemba’s 18-year sentence over war crimes

ICC overturns Bemba’s 18-year sentence over war crimes

The International Criminal Court on Friday overturned the conviction of former Congolese leader Jean-Pierre Bemba, who had been sentenced to 18 years in prison for war crimes in the Central African Republic.

Jean-Pierre Bemba, pictured in 2016, had been sentenced to a total of 18 years in prison.

Bemba was transferred to the ICC in July 2008 and charged with three counts of war crimes - murder, rape, and pillaging - and two counts of crimes against humanity - murder and rape. If Bemba, who has been behind bars for 10 years, actually takes on Kabila in an (electoral) fight, it's likely this battle will claim further victims.

The two judges who disagreed wrote a dissenting opinion in which they said the acquittals were based on "an incorrect standard of appellate review", the court said.

More than 5,200 victims participated in Bemba's trial.

Bemba has been in custody at the ICC for almost a decade after authorities in Belgium arrested him there in 2008 and sent him to The Hague.

Following this Judgment, and while there is no reason to continue Mr Bemba's detention on the basis of the present case, it is for Trial Chamber VII to decide, shortly, whether Mr Bemba's continued detention is warranted in relation to his conviction for offences against the administration of justice.

"I think that is unacceptable".

After days of insults, Trump and Trudeau pal around at G7
Speaking at a post-summit press conference, Trudeau acknowledged that there were major differences with Trump . The president says at the Group of Seven summit: "If they retaliate, they're making a mistake".

Rafael Nadal wins another French Open crown
Nadal wept after being handed the trophy by Australian legend Ken Rosewall - who won the inaugural French Open in 1968. The duo have met nine times throughout their career, all on clay, with Nadal taking six meetings to Thiem's three.

Fury comebacks ends in facile fourth round victory
Seferi sat on his stool after four completed rounds and did not answer the bell for round five. He vowed: "I'm happy to to be back and I'll take my career very seriously this time".

Presiding judge Christine Van den Wijngaert said that Bemba could not be held responsible for atrocities carried out by troops under his control in the neighbouring Central African Republic, and those trial judges had failed to consider the efforts he made to stop crimes once he became aware of them.

"There's not even any question over it", Mende told Reuters by telephone.

And the court found that Bemba bore the bulk of the responsibility for their actions.

Appeal judges also said he had been "erroneously" convicted for specific criminal acts.

Karine Bonneau of the International Federation for Human Rights slammed Friday's decision.

It remains unclear whether Bemba intends to return to the country after his release. He entered government under current President Joseph Kabila in 2003 as part of a power-sharing deal that ended years of civil war.

The message "to warlords seems to be: when you're not at the scene, let your troops commit the worst crimes and worst abominations, then say you had nothing to do with it, and we won't condemn you".

Like this: