See also:
» 02.03.2010 - Rights groups call for suspension of Lieutenant
» 25.02.2010 - Paris Club cuts DRC’s debt by half
» 02.02.2010 - Scores slaughtered by rebels in DRC
» 27.01.2010 - UN agency working with 100,000 DRC refugees
» 12.01.2010 - DRC refugees a problem to neighbours
» 14.12.2009 - Security Council should intervene – HRW says
» 08.12.2009 - Arms and minerals’ smuggling still rife in DRC, report
» 03.12.2009 - Congo upholds Norwegians death sentences

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Congo Kinshasa
Politics | Human rights | Society

Congo deny reports on Bemba’s case

afrol News, 17 June - Congolese government has rejected reports alleging that it has instigated the International Criminal Court charges against former Vice President Jean Pierre Bemba.

On Monday, the International court ruled that Mr Bemba should stand trial on charges against five counts of war crimes and crimes against for his alleged involvement in atrocities in Central African Republic traced back to 2002 and 2003.

Mr Bemba who has allegedly led a rebel movement during DRC’s civil war has however denied all charges, saying the militia was not under his command.

The Congolese official said the government does not condone criminality, further stating that Congolese nationals would like to see justice taking its cause and perpetrators arrested.

Judges at the Hague-based ICC said there was sufficient evidence to try Mr Bemba on two counts of crimes against humanity and three counts of war crimes. But they dismissed three other charges, including torture.

Prosecutors presented evidence to the court in January at a hearing to decide whether Bemba, the highest-profile suspect to date brought before the world's first permanent war crimes court, should be put on trial.

Mr Bemba was arrested by Belgium in May last year and transferred to the International Criminal Court in July on charges which among other included torture. But the ICC declined to prosecute Mr Bemba on the torture charges.

Mr Bemba who ruled a large part of northeastern Congo as a warlord and rebel leader during that country's 1998-2002 war was made a vice president in a transitional government before elections in 2006.

The ICC was set up in 2002 as the world's first permanent war crimes court. It was designed to end the need for various ad hoc war crimes courts, including chambers created to deal with war crimes committed in former Yugoslavia and genocide in Rwanda. At least four million people are believed to have died during the five-year DRC conflict.

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