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Jean-Pierre Bemba back in the ICC dock for bribery

Jean-Pierre Bemba back in the ICC dock for bribery

Democratic Republic Of Congo

Convicted Congolese warlord Jean-Pierre Bemba was back at the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Tuesday after being accused of bribing witnesses and falsifying evidence.

Bemba is accused along with two of his lawyers and an MP from his party of presenting fake documents to the court and making secret payments to witnesses in his trial.

According to the prosecution, eight witnesses had already admitted to perjury and two of them were bribed hours before leaving for the court in The Hague.

Bemba had a lot to lose in his trial: his stature, his standing, his political power, the possibility of a successful presidential election, his freedom.

“Bemba had a lot to lose in his trial: his stature, his standing, his political power, the possibility of a successful presidential election, his freedom,” prosecution lawyer Kweku Vanderpuye told the court.

The former militia chief was convicted by the ICC in March of war crimes and crimes against humanity for rape, mass murder and looting from late 2002- 2003 in the Central African Republic (CAR).

His rebel militia from the nothern Democratic Republic of Congo sent an estimated 1,500 people to topple the then president of the CAR, Ange-Felix Patasse, who was ousted in a coup in March 2003.

AFP

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