DR Congo Warlord Jean-Pierre Bemba Sentenced To 18 Years Imprisonment
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Congolese ex-rebel leader Jean-Pierre Bemba has been sentenced to 18 years imprisonment following a landmark conviction at the International Criminal Court (ICC) for war crimes and sexual violence.
The former vice-president of DR Congo, was convicted in March of crimes committed in the neighbouring Central African Republic in 2002-2003. He was jailed for 18 years.
Bemba was accused of failing to stop his rebels from killing and raping innocent people.
The presiding Judges announced sentences of 18 years on five counts of rape, murder and pillaging, with the jail terms running concurrently.
Bemba had already spent eight years in custody which will be deducted from his jail term.
This is the first time a suspect will be convicted for crimes committed by others under his command.
Judge Sylvia Steiner said Bemba had failed to exercise control over his private militia sent into CAR, where they carried out “sadistic” rapes, murders and pillaging of “particular cruelty”.
Bemba’s lawyers however said they will appeal against his conviction.