UN court adds one more year to jail term of Congo's Bemba

Former Congolese vice president Jean-Pierre Bemba was serving an 18-year prison term for war crimes committed in the neighbouring Central African Republic in 2002-2003.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Former Congolese vice president Jean-Pierre Bemba at the ICC courtroom in The Hague. (File photo)

The International Criminal Court (ICC) on Wednesday sentenced a former Congolese vice president Jean-Pierre Bemba to an extra year in prison and fined him €300,000 ($324,000) for interfering with witnesses.

Four members of his legal team were also found guilty of witness tampering.

Bemba and his co-accused were convicted of offences against the administration of justice by corruptly influencing 14 defence witnesses and coaching them to present false testimony.

Bemba's former lead lawyer, Aime Kilolo, was fined €30,000 ($32,000) and given a two-and-a-half year suspended sentence. Three others were given either suspended jail terms or sentenced to time served.

The court found Bemba guilty last year for war crimes committed in the neighbouring Central African Republic in 2002-2003 and sentenced him to 18 years in prison.

Judges said Bemba, who was vice president of the country from 2003 to 2006, had failed to exercise control over his private militia sent into CAR, where they carried out rapes, murders and pillaging.

TRT World's Fidelis Mbah has more on the trial.

Source: 
TRTWorld and agencies