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Central African Republic court refers former president, Congo VP to ICC

[JURIST] A Central African Republic court referred former president Ange Felix Patasse [Wikipedia backgrounder] and Congo's Vice-President Jean Pierre Bemba [Wikipedia backgrounder] to the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website; JURIST news archive] Friday on war crimes charges stemming from accusations that Patasse's security forces, backed by Bemba's then rebel movement fighters and mercenaries from Chad, executed and raped civilians as they defeated a coup attempt in October 2002. The appeals court in the Central African Republic declared itself incompetent to handle the war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide charges brought against Patasse and Abdoulaye Miskine, the suspected mercenary leader from Chad.

The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) [advocacy website], based in Paris, accused Patasse, Bemba and Miskine each of individual criminal responsibility for crimes against humanity in the 2002 attacks [FIDH summary] after it discovered mass graves one month after the attacks. Bemba is a currently a presidential candidate in the Democratic Republic of Congo elections later this year. Reuters has more.

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