ICC 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 crimes.
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 and concerns