The Hague, October 13, 2011 (FH) - Jean-Pierre Bemba's trial before the International Criminal Court (ICC) was adjourned on Thursday as the Prosecution was unable to bring witnesses to the bar in due time. The case is slated to resume on October 17 with the hearing of the remaining witnesses.

0 min 55Approximate reading time

Since the opening of the case on November 22, 2010, Prosecution has called upon 30 witnesses and is expected to examine 10 more. Several members of Bemba's party, who have turned against him, testified last week before the ICC. These "insiders" were heard mainly behind closed doors.

The Office of the Prosecutor told Hirondelle News Agency that putting in place the required security measures for the witnesses was "a complex operation", adding:"it was necessary to make sure witnesses would be unharmed and justice be done".

However, according to a different source close to the case, several witnesses are still "hesitant to charge" the Congolese Senator. Bemba's Defence counsel Aimé Kilolo refused to comment on this information.

Jean-Pierre Bemba is charged for crimes against humanity and crimes of war committed by his militia in Central African Republic in 2002 and 2003. Incarcerated in The Hague since July 3, 2008, he is nevertheless playing a key role in Congolese upcoming Presidential elections, scheduled for November. His lawyer just published a Press Release in which Bemba, trying to organize the opposition to President Kabila, argued in favor of a single opposition candidate


© Hirondelle News Agency