Former Congolese vice president Jean-Pierre Bemba is to be sentenced Monday by international judges for bribing witnesses during an earlier war crimes trial, which led to him being excluded from running for DR Congo president.
The International Criminal Court in The Hague acquitted the businessman-turned-rebel leader on appeal for war crimes and crimes against humanity three months ago — but a second minor case has continued to haunt him and his political ambitions.
In June, a sharply divided five-judge ICC bench overturned Bemba’s 2016 conviction and 18-year jail term for murders, rapes and pillaging committed by his private army in the neighbouring Central African Republic in 2002-2003 and acquitted him.
However, Bemba and five co-accused were found guilty on appeal in March of bribery, corruption and of coaching 14 defence witnesses in the main trial.
Bemba, 55, was handed a year-long prison term and a 300,000 euro ($350,000) fine.
ICC appeals judges, however, then ruled that the sentences of up to two-and-half years were too low and sent the case back for re-sentencing.