Source: Human Rights Watch (HRW) |

Quote attributable to Geraldine Mattioli-Zeltner, International Justice Advocacy Director at Human Rights Watch

NEW YORK, United States of America, March 21, 2016/APO (African Press Organization)/ --

Background on the Bemba case at the International Criminal Court:

Jean-Pierre Bemba was arrested in May 2008 in Belgium and transferred to the ICC in July 2008. His trial started in November 2010.

Bemba, as well as the Office of the prosecutor, can file an appeal against the judgment. The sentence against him, as well as the reparations to be granted to the victims who participated in the case, will be decided at a later stage.

Bemba was tried at the ICC on 3 counts of war crimes and 2 counts of crimes against humanity for rapes, murder and pillage committed by his troops in the Central African Republic between November 2002 and February 2003. Some of his troops were temporarily deployed in that country at the request of the then president, Ange-Felix Patassé, in order to help thwart a coup.

Jean-Pierre Bemba was not prosecuted at the ICC for crimes allegedly committed by his rebel group in Congo. Human Rights Watch documented summary executions, rape and looting by Bemba’s rebel forces in Mambasa, Congo, between October and December 2002, amongst other crimes.

Bemba also faces charges of fabricating evidence and bribing witnesses in the context of the main case against him. The trial on these charges is still ongoing at the ICC.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Human Rights Watch (HRW).