FORMER CONGO VICE-PRESIDENT JEAN-PIERRE BEMBA SENTENCED TO 18 YEARS

Jean-Pierre Bemba

Jean-Pierre Bemba

Congolese politician Jean-Pierre Bemba was sentenced to 18 years in prison by the International Criminal Court on Tuesday for heading a 2002-03 campaign of rape and murder in neighbouring Central African Republic.

Bemba, a former Democratic Republic of Congo vice-president, in March became the first person to be convicted by the global war crimes court of crimes of sexual violence in war, as well as the first to be held directly responsible for his subordinates’ crimes

“The chamber sentences Mr Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo to a total of 18 years of imprisonment,” said Judge Sylvia Steiner, ruling that the former militia leader had failed to exercise control over his private army sent into CAR in late October 2002 where they carried out “sadistic” rapes, murders and pillaging of “particular cruelty.”

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