Congo's Former VP Bemba War Crimes Trial Gets Go Ahead
FILE - Congo's former Vice President Jean-Pierre Bemba. The International Criminal Court ruled May 18, 2020, that he was not due damages after his successful appeal of a war crimes conviction.

The International Criminal Court ruled Monday that ex-Congolese vice president and militia leader Jean-Pierre Bemba is not entitled to damages after his successful appeal of a war crimes conviction.  

Bemba’s lawyers failed to convince the court that their client must be compensated for the nearly $75 million they claimed he lost because of his imprisonment, including legal fees and what they say was the court’s mismanagement of his seized assets. 

The judges acknowledged Monday that the 10 years Bemba spent in jail awaiting trial is a “significant amount of time to spend in custody, likely to result in personal suffering.” 

But they also ruled that Bemba “failed to establish that he had suffered a grave and manifest miscarriage of justice.”  

Among the assets seized from Bemba are planes, boats and luxury homes.  

Bemba was an opposition politician and one of four vice presidents in the Democratic Republic of Congo from 2003 to 2006.  

He was arrested in 2008 for crimes against humanity allegedly carried out by opposition forces under his command who fought against an attempted coup in neighboring Central African Republic in 2002. 

The ICC convicted Bemba in 2016 and sentenced him to 18 years in prison. His conviction was overturned on appeal two years later.