UN: ICC to deliver verdict on Bemba, others on 19 October

New York, US (PANA) - Trial Chamber VII of the International Criminal Court (ICC) will deliver its verdict on 19 October against former Congolese vice-president Jean-Pierre Bemba, and four others, in relation to crimes committed in Central African Republic (CAR).

The ICC in a statement made available to PANA in New York on Wednesday said: "The verdict in the case of the ICC prosecutor and Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo, Aime Kilolo Musamba, Jean-Jacques Mangenda Kabongo, Fidele Babala Wandu and Narcisse Arido will be delivered by Trial Chamber VII of the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Wednesday 19 October 2016 at The Hague, Netherlands."

It said that, the Trial Chamber had ordered the accused persons to be present at the hearing, noting that, the sentence would be pronounced at a later stage, only if the accused would be found guilty.

It said that the Trial Chamber VII is composed of Judge Bertram Schmitt, presiding, Judge Marc Perrin de Brichambaut, and Judge Raul Pangalangan.

Bemba, and the four others are accused of offences against the administration of justice allegedly committed in connection with the case related to crimes commited in CAR, consisting of corruptly influencing witnesses before the ICC and presenting evidence that they knew to be false or forged.

Their trial opened on 29 September 2015 before Trial Chamber VII.

On 29 April 2016, the Trial Chamber closed the submission of evidence in the case and the trial’s closing oral statements took place on 31 May-1 June 2016.

However, Aime Kilolo Musamba, Jean-Jacques Mangenda Kabongo, Fidele Babala Wandu and Narcisse Arido are appearing voluntarily before the ICC, as they were granted interim release on 21 October 2014.

Bemba Gombo is in ICC custody in relation to the other case against him.

PANA recalled that ICC's Trial Chamber III in March, 2016 found Bemba, guilty beyond any reasonable doubt of two counts of crimes against humanity (murder and rape) and three counts of war crimes (murder, rape, and pillaging).

Bemba was charged with two counts of crimes against humanity (murder and rape) and three counts of war crimes (murder, rape, and pillaging), allegedly committed during the conflict in Central African Republic (CAR) in 2002-2003.

The ICC said the crimes were committed by a contingent of Mouvement de Liberation du Congo (MLC) troops, and Bemba was
"effectively acting as a military commander with effective authority and control over the forces that committed the crimes."

The Trial Chamber found that Bemba, a Congolese citizen, was the MLC President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armee de Liberation du Congo (ALC), the organization’s figurehead, and source of its funding, goals, and aims.

"An MLC contingent of three battalions totalling around 1,500 men was deployed by Bemba to CAR in 2002 at the request and in support of former CAR President Ange-Felix Patasse to counter forces loyal to former Chief of Staff of the Forces armées centrafricaines (FACA), General Francois Bozize," it stated.
-0-   PANA   AA   21Sept2016

21 september 2016 20:23:23




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