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DRC's Jean-Pierre Bemba: key dates

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Key dates of DR Congo's Jean-Pierre Bemba, acquitted on appeal on warcrimes charges by the International Criminal Court (ICC), and whose interim release was ordered on Tuesday:

- November 4, 1962: Born in Bogada in the northwest Equateur province, his father was a rich businessman close to former dictator Mobutu Sese Seko.

- 1997: Leaves Kinshasa when the late rebel leader Laurent Desire Kabila overthrows Mobutu.

- 1998: Founds the rebel Movement for the Liberation of Congo (MLC), backed by neighbouring Uganda and opposed to the Kabila regime.

- October 2002-March 2003: Sends his private militiamen to the Central African Republic to help put down a coup against then president Ange-Felix Patasse. The MLC murder, rape and loot.

- 2003: Following the end of the second Congolese war, Bemba becomes vice-president in an interim government.

- 2006: Beaten by Joseph Kabila at presidential elections, scarred by political violence.

- 2007: Leaves Kinshasa, escorted by UN peacekeepers, after his forces come off worst in clashes with government troops.

- 2008: Arrested in Brussels on a warrant of the ICC.

- 2010: His trial begins at the ICC.

- June 21, 2016: Sentenced to 18 years by ICC judges after being found guilty of warcrimes and crimes against humanity.

- 2017: Sentenced to one year in jail and fined 300,000 euros ($350,000) for bribing witnesses during the trial.

- June 8, 2018: In a surprise decision is acquitted on appeal on the charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity. On June 12, the ICC orders his interim release.

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