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ICC overturns Bemba's conviction

Publish date: 11 June 2018
Issue Number: 777
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Category: DRC

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has overturned former DRC Vice-President Jean-Pierre Bemba's conviction for war crimes and crimes against humanity. Bemba was found guilty in 2016 of crimes committed in the neighbouring CAR from 2002 to 2003. BBC News reports that he was convicted of failing to prevent his rebels killing and raping. However, the court has now ruled that he cannot be held responsible for their actions. The decision to overturn the 18-year sentence was greeted with cheers from his supporters in the gallery. At the same time, Amnesty International said it was a 'huge blow' for the victims of a 'horrifying campaign of rape and sexual violence'. It called on the authorities to redouble their efforts to prosecute those who had carried it out. ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda described the ruling as 'regrettable and troubling'. More than 5 000 survivors took part in the proceedings against Bemba. 'For these brave individuals, as well as thousands of other victims in CAR, the pursuit of truth, justice and reparations will continue,' said Amnesty's head of international justice, Solomon Sacco.

Jean-Pierre Bemba profile

Full BBC News report