Africa

ICC sentences former Congo VP Bemba to 18 years in prison

  • Jean-Pierre Bemba enters the court room of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, Tuesday, June 21, 2016. The ICC delivered its sentence against former Congolese vice president Bemba who was found guilty, on 21 March 2016, of two counts of crimes against humanity (murder and rape) and three counts of war crimes (murder, rape, and pillaging) in the Central African Republic more than a decade ago.  (AP Photo/Michael Kooren, Pool)

    Jean-Pierre Bemba enters the court room of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, Tuesday, June 21, 2016. The ICC delivered its sentence against former Congolese vice president Bemba who was found guilty, on 21 March 2016, of two counts of crimes against humanity (murder and rape) and three counts of war crimes (murder, rape, and pillaging) in the Central African Republic more than a decade ago. (AP Photo/Michael Kooren, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

  • Jean-Pierre Bemba takes his seat in the court room of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, Tuesday, June 21, 2016. The ICC delivered its sentence against former Congolese vice president Bemba who was found guilty, on 21 March 2016, of two counts of crimes against humanity (murder and rape) and three counts of war crimes (murder, rape, and pillaging) in the Central African Republic more than a decade ago.  (AP Photo/Michael Kooren, Pool)

    Jean-Pierre Bemba takes his seat in the court room of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, Tuesday, June 21, 2016. The ICC delivered its sentence against former Congolese vice president Bemba who was found guilty, on 21 March 2016, of two counts of crimes against humanity (murder and rape) and three counts of war crimes (murder, rape, and pillaging) in the Central African Republic more than a decade ago. (AP Photo/Michael Kooren, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

  • Jean-Pierre Bemba takes his seat in the court room of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, Tuesday, June 21, 2016. The ICC delivered its sentence against former Congolese vice president Bemba who was found guilty, on 21 March 2016, of two counts of crimes against humanity (murder and rape) and three counts of war crimes (murder, rape, and pillaging) in the Central African Republic more than a decade ago.  (AP Photo/Michael Kooren, Pool)

    Jean-Pierre Bemba takes his seat in the court room of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, Tuesday, June 21, 2016. The ICC delivered its sentence against former Congolese vice president Bemba who was found guilty, on 21 March 2016, of two counts of crimes against humanity (murder and rape) and three counts of war crimes (murder, rape, and pillaging) in the Central African Republic more than a decade ago. (AP Photo/Michael Kooren, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

The International Criminal Court has sentenced Congolese former vice-president Jean-Pierre Bemba to 18 years in prison for murders, rapes and acts of pillaging committed by his troops in the neighboring Central African Republic in 2002 and 2003.

Presiding judge Sylvia Steiner said Tuesday that Bemba will get credit for the eight years he has already spent in ICC detention since his arrest in May 2008.

Bemba, a former Congolese senator and vice president, was the commander of the Movement for the Liberation of Congo when he was asked in 2002 and 2003 to send troops by CAR president Ange-Felix Patasse to provide support during a civil war.