The Hague, November 18, 2010 (FH) - Jean-Pierre Bemba has now been incarcerated for more than two years in Scheveningen' s prison, a seaside town in The Hague suburbs.

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"He receives visits from members of his party, members of Parliament, personalities from Belgium, Great-Britain and Germany", says his lawyer Aimé Kilolo.

 According to an interview she gave to a Congolese newspaper, his wife Liliane Teixeira Bemba shares her life between The Hague and Brussels where she raises their five children.

 Jean-Pierre Bemba was arrested by the Belgian police on May 24, 2008 in Brussels following an international arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

 Born in 1962 in the province of Equator (DRC), Bemba is a son of Mobutu's nomenklatura. His father Jeannot Bemba, who passed away in 2009, was a powerful businessman who was once elected "Boss of the bosses" in Congo.

 Bemba earned two Master degrees in Commercial studies at the "Institut catholique des Hautes études commerciales" of Brussels before joining one of his father's companies, Scibe Airlift, which management he finally took over. Later, he also became the manager of telecommunication company Comcell.

 When Laurent-Désiré Kabila took power in the aftermath of President Mobutu's death in September 1997, Jean-Pierre Bemba went underground. In 1998, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni allegedly assisted him to create a rebel movement in Eastern Congo.

He then becomes Commander-in-chief of the Mouvement de libération du Congo (Movement for the Liberation of Congo, MLC).

The MLC  takes control of the Equator province and threatens Ituri and North Kivu. Bemba is part of peace negotiation process and finally becomes RDC Vice-president in 2002.

He runs for the Presidential election in 2006 but loses to Joseph Kabila.

In April 2007, he leaves RDC after 48 hours of fighting in Kinshasa between his men and governmental soldiers. He settles down in exile in Europe, sharing his time between Faro (Portugal) and Brussels (Belgium).

According to different NGO briefings, he has amassed a fortune during his years of war in Eastern Congo.

ICC judges have always rejected Bemba's request to be bailed out, fearing that ICC 's "biggest fish" so far would never show up again.

Despite his detention, Jean-Pierre Bemba is still President of the MLC and willing to be his party's candidate for the next Presidential election scheduled for the Fall of 2011. However, there should be a Congress of the MLC in February 2011 which will decide if Bemba remains President of the Party.


© Hirondelle News Agency