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ICC sentences Congo's Bemba for witness tampering, says time served

John Thys, AFP | Jean-Pierre Bemba attends a joint press conference with RDC's opposition leaders on September 12, 2018 in Brussels.

The International Criminal Court on Monday sentenced Congolese politician Jean-Pierre Bemba to a 300,000 euro fine and a 12-month sentence for witness tampering, but his sentence was reduced to zero due to time served.

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Bemba was acquitted of war crimes on appeal in June but was convicted on the lesser charge of witness tampering during his trial.

The former warlord has been barred from standing in December's presidential election in the Democratic Republic of Congo because of the conviction.

>> FRANCE 24 exclusive: DR Congo’s Bemba calls upcoming election a ‘parody’

Bemba lost presidential elections in 2006 and was later accused of treason when his bodyguards clashed with the army in Kinshasa.

In 2007, he fled to Belgium, where he had spent part of his youth.

He was then arrested in Europe on a warrant by the ICC for war crimes committed by his private army in the neighbouring Central African Republic from 2002-3, when its then-president Ange-Félix Patassé sought his help to repel a coup attempt.

He was sentenced in The Hague in 2016 to 18 years before the conviction was overturned on appeal.

>> Read more – Jean-Pierre Bemba: From convicted warlord to exonerated hero of Congo

(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS, AFP)

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