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Bemba loses ICC bribery appeal

Publish date: 12 March 2018
Issue Number: 765
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Category: Criminal

War crimes judges last week rejected an appeal by former Congolese Vice-President Jean-Pierre Bemba against a bribery conviction, calling instead for a new jail term to be imposed. The appeals judges effectively reversed the sentences imposed on Bemba and two of his co-accused and remanded the matter to the original trial chamber 'for a new determination of their sentences'. Bemba had appealed against his conviction, a one-year jail term and a €300 000 fine imposed last year by the International Criminal Court for bribing 14 defence witnesses to lie for him in his main war crimes trial. A report on the New Vision site notes that it was the first such corruption case at the court in The Hague to be successfully prosecuted since it opened its doors in 2002. The five appeals judges on Thursday dismissed all Bemba's 12 grounds of appeal, finding instead in favour of the prosecution. Bemba is also separately appealing his war crimes conviction and 18-year jail term, but no date for the appeals judgment has been set yet.

Full report on the New Vision site