Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Gaza: A Truce At All Costs?

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Central African Republic: Brazzaville ceasefire talks deliver fragile deal

Read more

FOCUS

Sluggish tourist season in Crimea

Read more

ENCORE!

Bartabas : Mixing Christ with Spanish music and dancing horses

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Shifts in the propaganda war waged between Israelis and Palestinians

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

French MPs face quandary in pro-Palestinian rallies

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Yezid Sayigh, Senior Associate at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut

Read more

#TECH 24

Mind the Gender Gap : getting more women into the tech sector

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Bolivian children: heading to work aged 10

Read more

  • Live: France says missing Algerian plane 'probably crashed'

    Read more

  • 51 French nationals aboard missing Algerian plane

    Read more

  • Deadly Israeli strike on UN shelter in Gaza Strip

    Read more

  • Pope meets with Sudanese Christian woman sentenced to death for apostasy

    Read more

  • Algerian jet vanishes: 'We should eliminate the missile hypothesis'

    Read more

  • Italy’s Nibali cruises to easy victory in 18th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • Iraqi parliament elects moderate Kurd as president

    Read more

  • US, European aviation agencies lift travel restrictions to Tel Aviv

    Read more

  • No end to fighting until Israel ends Gaza blockade, Hamas says

    Read more

  • Two foreign women shot dead in western Afghanistan

    Read more

  • At least 60 killed in attack on prison convoy near Baghdad

    Read more

  • Cycling is ‘winning the war on doping,’ says expert

    Read more

  • Ceasefire agreed for Central African Republic

    Read more

  • Can Jew-kissing-Arab selfie give peace a viral chance?

    Read more

  • Botched Arizona execution takes nearly two hours

    Read more

Africa

Former vice-president Bemba to await trial in prison

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2009-12-02

Congolese rebel warlord and former VP Jean-Pierre Bemba will remain in custody until his trial begins in April 2010, the International Criminal Court said on Wednesday, reversing a pre-trial decision to release him.

AFP - Former DR Congo vice president Jean-Pierre Bemba will remain in custody while he awaits his war crimes trial, the appeal chamber of the International Criminal Court ruled on Wednesday.
  
The appeal was brought by the prosecution against the court's decision in August to grant Bemba a conditional release.
  
Since then he has however remained in his holding cell in The Hague while a country was sought that was willing to host him.
  
"The appeal chamber has decided that the decision of the first court should be reversed," judge Akua Kuenyehia said Wednesday.
  
The prosecution appealed on the grounds that Bemba, who could face a life sentence if convicted, was a flight risk and may harm witnesses in his trial, for which a starting date of April 27 has since been set.
  
"The potential length of the sentence if Bemba is convicted is a further incentive for him to abscond," Kuenyehia added.
  
The 47-year-old stands accused of three charges of war crimes and two of crimes against humanity allegedly committed in the Central African Republic (CAR) from October 2002 to March 2003.
  
He will stand trial for acts of murder, rape and pillaging allegedly committed by members of his Congolese Liberation Movement (MLC) while helping troops of then CAR president Ange-Felix Patasse resist a coup bid.
  
The secretary general of the MLC said he regretted the decision.
  
"It is with much sadness that we have learned of the news. We are approaching Christmas, we had strongly hoped that Jean-Pierre Bemba would spend the festivities of the end of the year with his family," said Francois Muamba.  "We are astounded but we remain in sympathy with him. He remains our leader," he added.
  
Bemba's trial will be the ICC's third since it started operating in The Hague in July 2002.
  
A business tycoon who left DR Congo in 2007 after losing presidential elections held during a political transition in the wake of a 1998-2003 civil war, Bemba was arrested on an ICC warrant in Brussels in May 2008.
  
He had briefly led the opposition, but was forced into exile when government forces tried to disarm his private militia in clashes that killed 300 in March 2007.

Date created : 2009-12-02

  • DR CONGO

    Warlords in the dock at ICC for 2003 attack on village

    Read more

COMMENT(S)