Home International NewsAfrica Congolese opposition leader Bemba convicted for the second time by the ICC

Congolese opposition leader Bemba convicted for the second time by the ICC

by James Ateenyi

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has sentenced DR Congo opposition leader Jean-Pierre Bemba, for bribing witnesses during his trial at the Hague based court for war crimes.

In a ruling issurd on Monday, The ICC handed Bemba a 12-month sentence and fined 300,000 euros ($350,000) for tampering with witnesses in an earlier hearing over possible war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by his fighters he sent to suppress a coup in neighbouring Central African Republic between October 2002 and 2003.

The former rebel leader and DR Congo former vice president will not return to jail because for the new sentence, because he already spent long time in jail after being found guilty following the war crimes case in 2016.

Bemba who was arrested in 2008 was held at the ICC detentionfo for close to 10 years, but was acquitted on appeal in June this year.

After spending close to a decade in prison, Bemba returned to DRC on August 1 to contest for the president for upcoming election on December 23 presidential election.

Bemba, 55 who is of the the most popular opposition leader in Democratic Republic Congo was however, barred on September 3 from running in an election because of the conviction for witness tampering.

DRC law prohibit corruption convicts from running for an office of the president and it’s on this law that Bemba was blocked from running for president of the country.

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