Saturday, August 15, 2009

War Crimes: Former Congolese leader granted temporary release

The International Criminal Court (ICC) today decided to grant the request of Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo for a conditional release until the start of the former Congolese leader’s trial for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Mr. Bemba, the former vice-president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), faces charges for alleged crimes committed in the Central African Republic (CAR) between October 2002 and March 2003, including rape, murder and pillaging.

“Today, 14 August 2009, Pre-Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court decided to grant the request of Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo for interim release, albeit under conditions,” the Court announced in a news release.

Mr. Bemba will be released once the conditions have been set, and it has been determined which country will take him in until his trial, added the Court, which is based in The Hague.

The ICC also announced that Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo will today appeal the decision to grant Mr. Bemba conditional release.

The Prosecution “considers that Mr. Bemba, who is still physically in detention in The Hague, should stay in prison. The Appeals Chamber will review whether the decision to release Mr. Bemba is correct.”

“The judges of the ICC have confirmed that Mr. Bemba must stand trial to answer the very serious charges that have been brought against him” said Mr. Moreno-Ocampo. “Victims and witnesses can be confident that the trial will take place in the near future and that the Court will continue to guarantee their safety.”

The ICC is an independent, permanent court that investigates and prosecutes persons accused of the most serious crimes, namely genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

Source: UN
Published by Mike Hitchen,
Putting principles before profits