Arusha, October 24, 2014 (FH) – The International Criminal Court this week ordered the interim release of four suspects close to Congolese Senator Jean-Pierre Bemba. In another ICC  hearing, former Congolese militia leader Mathieu Ngudjolo again protested his innocence.

1 min 9Approximate reading time

ICCCourt frees Bemba aides: The International Criminal Court (ICC) on Tuesday ordered the interim release of four suspects close to Congolese Senator and former Vice-President Jean-Pierre Bemba, “to avoid that the duration of the pre-trial detention become disproportionate”. The four Congolese men, along with Bemba himself, are accused of witness tampering and making false statements in Bemba’s crimes against humanity and war crimes trial. They include Bemba’s lawyer Aimé Kilolo and Member of Parliament Fidèle Babala Wandu. Bemba is accused of bearing individual responsibility for crimes committed in the Central African Republic in 2002 and 2003.

ICCMathieu Ngudjolo protests his innocence: Former Congolese militia leader Mathieu Ngudjolo, who was acquitted by an ICC trial court, on Tuesday insisted before the Appeals Chamber that he is innocent. Ngudjolo was tried for crimes against humanity and war crimes. According to the prosecution, he played a key role in the February 24, 2003 massacre in Bogoro, a village in the north-eastern Ituri province of the Democratic Republic of Congo. He was acquitted by the lower court on December 18, 2012, in the ICC’s second ever judgment. The prosecution appealed.   CÔTE D’IVOIRESimone Gbagbo trial postponed: The trial of former Ivorian First Lady Simone Gbagbo and 82 other people that was due to open Wednesday in Abidjan has been postponed indefinitely. In this first trial, the 83 are charged notably with undermining state security. Investigations are still under way on even more serious allegations, including genocide. As well as facing trial in a national court, Simone Gbagbo is under an ICC arrest warrant. Abidjan has so far refused to transfer her to the ICC. ER/ JC