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Ex-DRC veep Bemba re-appears before the ICC

Ex-DRC veep Bemba re-appears before the ICC

Democratic Republic Of Congo

Former Congolese rebel leader Jean-Pierre Bemba on Monday, re-appeared before the ICC, which is to determine his sentence for crimes committed by his militia in the Central African Republic.

The former vice president of the Democratic Republic of Congo was found guilty of five war crimes committed in 2002 and 2003 in the Central African Republic, under the principle of command responsibility.

The hearings will continue till Wednesday. During the three days, the judges will hear several witnesses, the prosecution’s submissions and defense arguments.

A defense witness, Catholic Bishop Fridolin Ambongo on Monday sought to demonstrate that Jean-Pierre Bemba and his militia played a role in establishing peace and stability in the province of Equateur, northwest of the DRC.

An expert called by the prosecution who worked to establish the consequences of mass rapes committed in five months in CAR reported high rates of post-traumatic stress disorders in dozens of casualties.

Jean-Pierre Bemba’s Movement for the Liberation of Congo is accused of killing and raping people in neighbouring Central African Republic. The warlord who has already spent eight years in detention faces up to 30 years or life imprisonment.