ICC to deliver appeals ruling in former Congo VP conviction

International Criminal Court judges are set to deliver their judgment in the appeal by former Congolese vice-president Jean-Pierre Bemba against his convictions and 18-year prison sentence for atrocities committed by his forces in Central African Republic.

Bemba was found guilty in 2016 as a military commander of two counts of crimes against humanity and three war crimes for a campaign of murder, rape and pillaging by his troops in 2002 and 2003. He denied responsibility for the crimes.

Prosecutors, meanwhile, have appealed his sentence, urging judges to raise it to 25 years.

The case ending Friday afternoon is significant as it was the first ICC prosecution to focus heavily on sexual crimes in an armed conflict. Bemba also was the first person convicted by the court based on command responsibility.