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DRC former VP to appeal war crimes conviction

DRC former VP to appeal war crimes conviction

Netherlands

Jean-Pierre Bemba, a former Congolese rebel leader, jailed for 18 years by the International Criminal Court for war crimes, has appealed against his conviction.

Bemba formally appealed against his conviction on grounds that his trial was flawed.

According to his defence team, Bemba who once served as vice president in the DRC, said his rights had been violated.

The ex-rebel leader was sentenced in June to 18 years in prison following a landmark conviction for war crimes and sexual violence.

Bemba was convicted in March of crimes committed in the neighbouring Central African Republic in 2002-2003.

His case was the first before the ICC to focus on sexual violence as a weapon of war. It was also the first to underline a military commander’s responsibility for the conduct of troops under his control.

Human Rights Watch welcomed the sentence and said it offered “a measure of justice” for the victims.

AFP

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