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AFRIQUE: Jean-Pierre Bemba acquitté / Jean-Pierre Bemba acquitted

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Jean-Pierre Bemba le 21 mars 2016 à la Cour pénale internationale. Photo CPI


RADIO OKAPI – Jean-Pierre Bemba a été acquitté en appel par la Cour pénale internationale. Il avait été condamné en première instance à 18 ans de prison pour crimes de guerre et crimes contre l’humanité.

La majorité des juges d’appel ont décidé d’annuler la décision de la cour de première instance après avoir relevé de sérieuses erreurs dans le jugement, notamment dans la non prise en cause de circonstances atténuantes.

Jean-Pierre Bemba: Congo warlord’s conviction overturned
Image copyrightAFPImage captionJean-Pierre Bemba, pictured in 2009, had been sentenced to a total of 18 years in prison

BBC – The International Criminal Court (ICC) has overturned the conviction for war crimes and crimes against humanity of former Democratic Republic of Congo Vice-President Jean-Pierre Bemba.

Bemba was found guilty in 2016 of crimes committed in the neighbouring Central African Republic (CAR) in 2002-2003.

He was accused of failing to stop his rebels from killing and raping people.

But a judge has now said he cannot be held responsible for their actions.

Christine Van den Wijngaert also said the judges in the 2016 case had failed to take into account his attempts to stop the crimes once he was made aware they were taking place, news agency Reuters reported.

The conviction had marked several milestones. It was the first time ICC had focused on rape as a weapon of war, and the first time a suspect had been convicted for crimes committed by others under his command.

Friday’s decision was greeted by cheers from his supporters in the gallery. However, Bemba will remain in prison pending a contempt case appeal, Reuters said. —— AUTO – GENERATED; Published (Halifax Canada Time AST) on: June 08, 2018 at 12:34PM

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