THE HAGUE, Netherlands – The International Criminal Court is passing judgment on former Congolese vice president Jean-Pierre Bemba on charges of commanding a militia that went on a spree of murder, rape and pillage in Central African Republic more than a decade ago.
The verdicts being delivered Monday afternoon focus on the responsibility of a military commander for the actions of his troops. Bemba's long-running trial also was the first at the ICC to feature allegations of systematic sexual abuse by soldiers in a conflict.
Summing up the case against Bemba in November 2014, prosecution lawyer Horejah Bala-Gaye told judges that Bemba's forces "raped their victims at gunpoint anywhere and at any time."
Bemba's lawyers told judges in their closing argument that there was insufficient evidence to convict him of murder, rape and pillage.