Bemba’s Bail Revoked

Former Rebel Leader Jean-Pierre Bemba

Former Rebel Leader Jean-Pierre Bemba

The decision to award bail to Congolese war crimes suspect Jean-Pierre Bemba has been reversed by the International Criminal Court (ICC) According to the Judges at The Hague, Mr Bemba, who was Democratic Republic of Congo’s vice-president might flee if set free. Bemba is accused of leading militias who went on a rampage of murder and raping civilians in Central African Republic between 2002 and 2003. Bemba who was arrested in Belgium last year and was extradited to The Hague and granted bail in August, but said he would not be freed until it could be decided which country would take him. Appeals judge Akua Kuenyehia has since ruled that there was a risk he would flee, and revoked the bail.

The war was ended after a peace deal in 2003, Bemba had laid down his arms and joined an interim government as vice-president. But his militia have been accused of committing atrocities when they crossed the border joined the conflict in the Central African Republic.

But Bemba has repeatedly claimed that his troops were not under his command when they crossed the border into CAR to help then-President Ange-Felix Patasse put down a coup attempt in 2002.  The former rebel leader is to face trial on three counts of war crimes and two of crimes against humanity.

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