UN: ICC to sentence CAR rebel leader on 21 June

New York, US (PANA) - Trial Chamber III of the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Friday announced that it will sentence Central African Republic (CAR) rebel leader, Jean-Pierre Bemba, on Tuesday, 21 June 2016, at The Hague, Netherlands.

An ICC statement, made available to PANA in New York, said the ICC judges may impose a sentence of imprisonment to which they could add a fine or forfeiture of proceeds, property and assets derived directly or indirectly from the crimes.

"A sentence cannot exceed a maximum of 30 years, except when justified by the extreme gravity of the crime and the individual circumstances of the convicted person, in which case, a sentence of life imprisonment may be imposed," it stated.

It, however, noted that "the number of years a person has previously spent in detention by the court will be deducted from the sentence imposed by the judges."

The statement said that the ICC Trial Chamber III is composed of Presiding Judge Sylvia Steiner (Brazil), Judge Joyce Aluoch (Kenya) and Judge Kuniko Ozaki (Japan).

On 21 March 2016, the ICC Trial Chamber III declared 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).

The crimes were committed in Central African Republic from on or about 26 October 2002 to 15 March 2003 by a contingent of the Mouvement de Libération du Congo troops.

The ICC said that Bemba was a person effectively acting as a military commander with effective authority and control over the forces that committed the crimes.

Bemba was arrested by the Belgian authorities on 24 May 2008, pursuant to an ICC arrest warrant, and surrendered to the ICC on 3 June 2008.

On 15 June 2009, ICC Pre-Trial Chamber II confirmed the charges against him, and his trial started on 22 November 2010 and the closing oral statements of parties and participants were delivered on 12 and 13 November 2014.

The Pre-Trial Chamber granted 5,229 persons the status of victims authorised to participate in the proceedings.
-0- PANA AA/VAO 10June2016

10 june 2016 14:55:46

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