Bemba case: Sentence to be delivered on 21 June 2016

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Situation:  The Central African Republic  
Case:  The Prosecutor v. Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo

Trial Chamber III of the International Criminal Court (ICC) announced that it will deliver the sentence in the case  The Prosecutor v. Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo on Tuesday 21 June 2016 at 13:45 (The Hague local time) during a public hearing at the seat of the Court in The Hague (Netherlands).

According to the Court’s legal texts, the judges may impose a sentence of imprisonment to which they could add a fine or forfeiture of proceeds, property and assets derived directly or indirectly from the crimes. A sentence cannot exceed a maximum of 30 years, except when justified by the extreme gravity of the crime and the individual circumstances of the convicted person, in which case, a sentence of life imprisonment may be imposed. The number of years a person has previously spent in detention by the Court will be deducted from the sentence imposed by the judges.

ICC Trial Chamber III is composed of Presiding Judge Sylvia Steiner (Brazil), Judge Joyce Aluoch (Kenya) and Judge Kuniko Ozaki (Japan).


Background:  On 21 March 2016, Trial Chamber III declared Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo guilty beyond any reasonable doubt of two counts of crimes against humanity (murder and rape) and three counts of war crimes (murder, rape, and pillaging). The crimes were committed in Central African Republic from on or about 26 October 2002 to 15 March 2003 by a contingent of the Mouvement de Libé ration du Congo troops. Mr Bemba was a person effectively acting as a military commander with effective authority and control over the forces that committed the crimes.

Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo was arrested by the Belgian authorities on 24 May 2008, pursuant to an ICC arrest warrant, and surrendered to the Court on 3 June 2008. On 15 June 2009, Pre-Trial Chamber II confirmed the charges against him. His trial started on 22 November 2010 and the closing oral statements of parties and participants were delivered on 12 and 13 November 2014. The Chamber granted 5229 persons the status of victims authorised to participate in the proceedings.


Source: ICC