CC Trial Chamber III has found Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity
In a judgement delivered today, Trial Chamber III of the
International Criminal Court (“ICC” or “Court”) declared, unanimously,
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 (“CAR”) from on
or about 26 October 2002 to 15 March 2003 (“2002-2003 CAR Operation”)
by a contingent of Mouvement de Libération du Congo (“MLC”) troops.
Mr Bemba was a person effectively acting as a military commander with
effective authority and control over the forces that committed the
ICC Trial Chamber III is composed of Presiding Judge Sylvia Steiner
(Brazil), Judge Joyce Aluoch (Kenya) and Judge Kuniko Ozaki (Japan).The parties (the Prosecution and the Defence) may appeal the decision
of conviction within thirty days, in accordance with the Rome Statute
and the Rules of Procedure and Evidence, in which case the matter will
be put to the Appeals Chamber composed of five judges.
Throughout the proceedings, the Chamber issued 1219 written
decisions, orders, notifications, and cooperation requests as well as
277 oral decisions and orders. The Chamber admitted a total of 733 items
of evidence, including 5724 pages of documents. The Chamber sat for 330
working days and heard 77 witnesses, including 40 witnesses called by
the Prosecution, 34 called by the Defence, 2 witnesses called by the
Legal Representative of Victims and one witness called by the Chamber.
The Chamber also permitted three victims to directly present their views