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Prosecutor v. Bemba et al.

  • Jonas Nilsson (a1)
Extract

The case against Jean-Pierre Bemba, Aimé Kilolo Musamba, Jean-Jacques Mangenda Kabongo, Fidèle Babala Wandu, and Narcisse Arido is the first case before the International Criminal Court (ICC) dealing with offenses against administration of justice. The case is exceptional in terms of scope and size in comparison to other international prosecutions dealing with this kind of offense. The charges concern a systematic scheme aimed at producing false testimony of a large number of witnesses. Five people, including members of a defense team in another case before the ICC, carried out this operation over a period of many years. The case also involves several interesting evidentiary and procedural issues, including the overall regime for admission of evidence before the ICC.

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1 Prosecutor v. Bemba et al., Case No. ICC-01/05-01/13, Judgment Pursuant to Article 74 of the Statute (Oct. 19, 2016).

2 Prosecutor v. Bemba et al., Case No. ICC-01/05-01/13-2123-Corr, Decision on Sentence Pursuant to Article 76 of the Statute (Mar. 22, 2017).

3 Prosecutor v. Bemba et al., Case No. ICC-01/05-01/13-2275, Judgment on the Appeals of Mr. Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo, Mr. Aimé Kilolo Musamba, Mr. Jean-Jacques Mangenda Kabongo, Mr. Fidèle Babala Wandu and Mr. Narcisse Arido Against the Decision of Trial Chamber VII entitled “Judgment Pursuant to Article 74 of the Statute” (Mar. 8, 2018); Prosecutor v. Bemba et al., Case No. ICC-01/05-01/13-2276, Judgment on the Appeals of the Prosecutor, Mr. Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo, Mr. Fidèle Babala Wandu and Mr. Narcisse Arido Against the Decision of Trial Chamber VII entitled “Decision on Sentence Pursuant to Article 76 of the Statute” (Mar. 8, 2018).

4 Among the issues that could not be covered within the narrow scope of this case note is the applicability of Articles 69(7) and (8) and the ICC's power to review application of national law (see, for example, Judgment on Appeal of Verdict, paras. 283–99, 340–46), and the appropriateness of ordering the prosecution to file so-called “updated documents containing the charges,” taking into account the Pre-Trial Chamber's decision confirming the charges (Judgment on Appeal of Verdict, paras. 195–200).

5 Agreement on Privileges and Immunities of the International Criminal Court, Adopted by the Assembly of State Parties, ICC-ASP/1/3, September 3–10, 2002.

6 Headquarters Agreement Between the International Criminal Court and the Host State, ICC-BD/04-01-08, March 1, 2008.

7 The Trial Chamber referred in this respect to a decision, rendered before the start of trial, setting out the approach. Prosecutor v. Bemba et al., Case No. ICC-01/05-01/13-1013-Red, ICC-01/05-01/13-1113-Red, ICC-01/05-01/13-1170-Conf, Decision on Prosecution Requests for Admission of Documentary Evidence (Sept. 24, 2015).

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American Journal of International Law
  • ISSN: 0002-9300
  • EISSN: 2161-7953
  • URL: /core/journals/american-journal-of-international-law
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