Jean-Pierre Bemba: Congo warlord's conviction overturned

ICC overturns conviction of Congo warlord Jean-Pierre Bemba

The global court on Friday overturned Bemba's war crimes conviction and 18-year prison sentence for alleged atrocities carried out by troops under his control in neighbouring Central African Republic in 2002-2003, meaning he could be released in a matter of days.

Bemba was convicted on March 21, 2016 of murder, rape and pillaging between October 2002 and March 2003, when militia troops of the Movement for the Liberation of the Congo (MLC), who were under his command were sent to neighboring Central African Republic to quell a coup attempt.

The Court of Appeals of the ICC acknowledged that the trial in first instance against the ex-leader made serious mistakes, so that the accused is completely free of criminal responsibility, according to the jurist.

Bemba was one of only four people convicted by the permanent war crimes court in its 16 years of operation, and the highest ranking among them. If Bemba, who has been behind bars for 10 years, actually takes on Kabila in an (electoral) fight, it's likely this battle will claim further victims.

But in a scathing assessment, the Hague-based ICC's appeal judges said Bemba was "erroneously" convicted for specific criminal acts.

It was celebration galore on the streets of DRC's capital Kinshasa as residents welcomed the International Criminal Court's decision on former VP Jean Pierre Bemba.

Friday's decision was greeted by cheers from his supporters in the gallery.

More news: Air Force Captain Found 35 Years After Disappearing

The ICC's judges unanimously found DR Congo's former vice president Jean-Pierre Bemba guilty in 2016 on five charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Bemba sent his militia, the Congolese Liberation Movement (MLC), into neighbouring auto in October 2002 to quash a coup against the then president, Ange-Felix Patasse.

"5229 survivors of Bemba's atrocities participated in the ICC proceedings - for these fearless individuals, as well as thousands of other victims in vehicle, the pursuit of truth, justice and reparations will continue".

Judges are to decide "shortly whether Mr Bemba's continued detention is warranted", Van den Wyngaert said.

It remains to be seen what Bemba will do once he is released. "Delivering this judgment, it seems to say to the warlords: 'As long as you are not on the scene, let your troops commit the worst crimes and the worst abominations, say that you have nothing to do with that and we will not condemn you"'.

In 2006, he lost a presidential run-off against young Joseph Kabila, son of the late leader.

Related News:

  • Robert De Niro drops F-bomb against Trump at the Tony Awards

    Robert De Niro drops F-bomb against Trump at the Tony Awards

    Springsteen then took the stage to perform a soulful rendition of " My Hometown ". He won his third, for best featured actor in a play.
    Man killed in stabbing attack on Japan bullet train

    Man killed in stabbing attack on Japan bullet train

    Odawara police official Satoshi Oiye said the suspect admitted to police that he had attacked the passengers. Police quoted Kojima as saying he was just ticked off and wanted to kill someone and that anyone would do.
    Kingdom Hearts III Getting Limited Edition PlayStation 4 Pro

    Kingdom Hearts III Getting Limited Edition PlayStation 4 Pro

    Plus, I am just really bitter that we didn't see a remastered collection of Legacy of Kain, particularly Defiance. It was nice to see Dragon Quest XI in the spotlight, a series that often doesn't enjoy its share of mainstream.
  • People are already torching things they shouldn't with Elon Musk's flamethrowers

    People are already torching things they shouldn't with Elon Musk's flamethrowers

    And that's all well and good, but still ... our world just became 20,000 flamethrowers richer, and it's only a matter of time. It also suggests having a fire extinguisher and a bucket of water on hand when using the Not-A-Flamethrower.

    Civilians Killed in Houthi Shelling of Saudi Arabia’s Jazan

    The UN considers Yemen to be the world's worst humanitarian crisis, with more than 22.2 million people in need of assistance. The three-year stalemated war has killed more than 10,000 people and displaced more than 3 million.
    Scotland's cricketers put Auld Enemy to the sword

    Scotland's cricketers put Auld Enemy to the sword

    Stanlake impressed against Middlesex in his one run-out before the series, troubling batsmen with his bounce and pace. We've got to take every game as it comes, they'll all be tough games and we've got to be prepared for that.
  • Kim Kardashian Threw Kanye West a Kanye-Themed Birthday Party

    Kim Kardashian Threw Kanye West a Kanye-Themed Birthday Party

    Jenner's shot at the President is a slight surprise, considering she is not known for being politically outspoken. Kanye nabbed the first buzz to immediately offer the No. 1 answer: "Lips", much to the audience's approval.
    USA  won't give asylum to victims of gangs, domestic abuse

    USA won't give asylum to victims of gangs, domestic abuse

    Many victims of domestic and gang violence seek protection on grounds of being in persecuted social group. Sessions became President Trump's attorney general after years as an immigration hardliner in the U.S.
    Ditching entourages, Trump and Kim Jong Un to meet 1 on 1

    Ditching entourages, Trump and Kim Jong Un to meet 1 on 1

    Trump landed at Paya Lebar Airbase on board Air Force One after cutting short his time at the G7 summit in Canada. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un are set for a historic summit on Tuesday, June 12.
  • Trump Kim summit: Handshake moment explained in pictures

    Trump Kim summit: Handshake moment explained in pictures

    Trump made the comments as he and Kim walked together along balcony as they headed to a larger meeting with aides. "We're going to have a great discussion, I think, a tremendous success, this will be tremendously successful".
    America's Got Talent star Neal Boyd dies age 42

    America's Got Talent star Neal Boyd dies age 42

    In addition to his music career, he ran for an empty seat in the Missouri House of Representatives in 2011. He went on: "Any time you're in a moment of struggle, God has a way of coming in and uplifting you".
    Trump reportedly changes departure time from summit with North Korea

    Trump reportedly changes departure time from summit with North Korea

    Foreign Minister Ri, 61, is a career diplomat who served as the chief North Korean delegate to the six-party nuclear talks. The two clasped hands for a long while Tuesday as they posed for photos in front of a row of US and North Korean flags.


Most liked

PM 'to appeal for unity' on Brexit vote
Starmer's call comes as lawmakers are bracing for a fierce parliamentary debate over Britain's European Union divorce bill. A UK Conservative MP has resigned as justice minister in protest at Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit policy.

Tesla Touting 10 Rocket Thrusters for New Roadster
But, what Tesla is expected to deliver would, more likely, move it into the realm of what is referred to as Level 3 technology. Musk has previously said the software will "never be perfect" and is not created to replace human control of a vehicle.

Fallout 76 is an online game with a solo online mode
As for the setting, the game is going to be set in the hills of West Virginia , "a very different and untamed wasteland". There must be a reason all the insane monsters we see aren't in Fallout 3, which is relatively close by geographically.

Land Rover Discovery production moving to Slovakia
JLR had already announced in 2016 it would produce Discovery models in Slovakia, but only said the manufacture would be split. These will be the next Range Rover and Range Rover Sport , which will be built on an all-new architecture.

List of all records broken by Nadal at French Open
The Spaniard also won the title without losing a set, becoming the third man to do so in the Open era after Ilie Nastase and Borg. Free to impose his game against wilting Cecchinato, Thiem ruthlessly closed out the match in straight sets.

Liverpool target Alisson Becker wants future resolved before World Cup starts
Alisson is very happy at Roma and the rumours of a transfer are just rumours. To be honest, I've left it all in the hands of my agents.

President Trump, Kim Jong-un to Sign Agreement Pledging to Continue Talks
Trump said he expects the talks to be a "tremendous success" adding, "We will have a tremendous relationship, I have no doubt". They also patted each other on each other's arms as they walked together at the Capella Hotel on the resort island of Sentosa.

Trump's feud with Canada's Trudeau leaves GOP senators baffled
That's the way it should be. "Canadians are polite and reasonable, but we will not be pushed around", Trudeau said . The former Conservative prime minister's government entered into a free trade agreement with the United States.

Your internet use could change as 'net neutrality' ends
It will head to the State Assembly, where hearings will begin in June and must be voted on by the end of August. Even some technology companies joined the fight to preserve net neutrality , including Mozilla and Vimeo.

Apple Bans Apps That Mine Cryptocurrencies
If you haven't worked it out yet, this news is very good news and will see some brand-new cryptocurrency-based applications go live on the App Store.

From pancakes to patties: IHOP now the International House of Burgers
After lots of speculation that the new "B" stood for " breakfast ", the chain has announced that "B" stands for " burgers ". Naturally other restaurant chains had some thoughts to share on social media about the " IHOb " announcement.

Trump SLAMS Canada’s Trudeau Over G7 Comments — ARCTIC BLAST
Trump said the steel tariffs were applied to Canada because of Canadian tariffs on USA dairy imports. The EU trade surplus with the U.S.is $151 Billion, and Canada keeps our farmers and others out.

Dragon Quest just got a new trailer at Square Enix's E3 conference
Additionally, the new trailer announced the Edition of Light copy, which includes a Supplicant, Healer, and three Seeds of Skill. Sadly, both also had immaterial showings with next to no details revealed about what they will be like; the ultimate E3 tease.

E3 2018: Skull and Bones looks fabulous in this new trailer
Choose Your Own Path: Your decisions shape the world around you with over 30 hours of choice dialogue and multiple game endings. In Odyssey , you can choose to play as Alexios or Kassandra , but it doesn't appear that Ubisoft made a statue for Kassandra.

Trump’s Hand Crushed By French President
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has repeatedly criticized Trump in recent days, calling the move "totally unacceptable". The proposal was supported by other leaders present, the official said.