Trial begins for former vice-President of the Democratic Republic of Congo

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Minister for Africa Henry Bellingham has spoken after the International Criminal Court (ICC) began trial proceedings against Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo.

“I am pleased that the very serious allegations against Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo will be fully investigated in an independent and fair trial at the International Criminal Court in The Hague. I also welcome the role that the victims of the crimes committed in Central African Republic will be able to play in the trial proceedings.”

The charges against Mr Bemba include allegations that he was criminally responsible for the crimes of rape, murder and pillage in the Central African Republic in 2002-2003.

This is the third trial to be opened at the ICC, and the first to result from the Court’s investigation in the Central African Republic. The Court is now firmly established in the global judicial system and is fulfilling the mandate given to it by the international community to combat impunity for the most serious crimes of international concern.