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Congolese Bemba sentenced to 18 years in prison

By on June 21, 2016

Jean-Pierre Bemba, the former vice-president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), has been sentenced to 18 years in prison for rape and pillage committed by his troops, becoming the highest-level official to be sentenced at the international criminal court.

Congolese ex-rebel leader Jean-Pierre Bemba has been jailed for 18 years following a landmark conviction at the International Criminal Court (ICC) for war crimes and sexual violence.

He was accused of failing to stop his rebels from killing and raping people.
Bemba’s lawyers have already said they will appeal against his conviction.

Bemba was convicted in March of crimes committed in the neighbouring Central African Republic (CAR) in 2002-2003.

The former militia commander is the third person convicted by the controversial “court of last resort” set up to try the world’s worst crimes in 2002.

The eight years Bemba has already spent in custody will be deducted from his term.

Earlier in the day Bemba’s lawyers said they would appeal against his war crimes conviction and press for a mistrial.

Bemba was found guilty in March of five charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by his private army – the Congolese Liberation Movement (MLC)

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