Monday, November 29, 2010

ICC in the Media, Update #14

This week the media followed the start of the Jean-Pierre Bemba trial at the ICC. It began with Bemba pleading not guilty to three counts of war crimes and two counts of crimes against humanity, including charges of rape, pillaging and murder committed by his army. The Prosecution's first witness testified to a young girl being raped in front of her mother by Bemba's army, saying that those who did not consent to being raped or pillaged were beaten or shot. The witness was reportedly one of 759 victims who have been authorized to take part in the trial thus far. Bemba has denied having any control over his army while it was in the Central African Republic. In other news, ICC Prosecutor Ocampo recently met with Kenya's President Kibaki and Prime Minister Odinga to discuss with them the next steps toward securing justice for victims of the 2008 post-election violence. Ocampo has said that he will release the names for those to be submitted to the ICC as early as before December 15, 2010, when he is expected to go before ICC judges to request indictments. This is said to depend on whether his request for an open court on that date is accepted. Photo credit: Daily Nation.

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