A Collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh

Lawyers for Congo rebel leader Bemba argue legality of charges

Defense lawyers for Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) former vice president Jean-Pierre Bemba [case materials, JURIST news archive] argued before the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] Tuesday that charges against their client should be dropped. His lawyers argued that he has been denied due process [Reuters report] and that the charges are illegal. Bemba was originally set to go on trial on war crimes charges on Tuesday, but the trial was postponed [JURIST report] until July 5 to allow the court more time to consider the defense's motion on the admissibility of the case, filed in February.

In December, the ICC ordered [text, PDF] Bemba to remain in custody [JURIST report] until his trial. The ruling reversed a decision [JURIST report] issued in August ordering Bemba's conditional release. The order for release was opposed by ICC prosecutors who appealed [JURIST report] the original decision. The ICC has ordered Bemba to stand trial [JURIST report] for war crimes allegedly committed in the Central African Republic (CAR) [BBC backgrounder] from October 2002 to May 2003. Bemba was arrested [JURIST report] in Belgium in May 2008 after the ICC issued a warrant for his arrest for his actions in the CAR. He was indicted on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity and transferred [JURIST report] to the ICC in July 2008.

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.