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NETHERLANDS: Bemba Sue ICC for $75m Damages

By Published March 12, 2019

Former Congolese vice president Jean Pierre Bemba who was recently acquitted of war crimes by the International Criminal Court (ICC) is suing the court for damages of up to $75 million dollars.

Lawyers for the former rebel leader and Vice-President of DR Congo confirmed that paperwork had been filed requesting compensation for unlawful detention, legal fees and losses due to the alleged mismanagement of assets seized by the court.

The assets included seven airplanes, three villas in Portugal, three parcels of land in the Democratic Republic of Congo and two boats seized during the 10 years Bemba was in detention “were simply allowed to rot” Peter Haynes told journalists in The Hague.

No date was set for when the filing would be considered by ICC judges, who have rejected similar claims in the past.

Mr Bemba, a successful businessman and an opposition politician before his arrest, was acquitted May last year of crimes committed by members of a militia under his command.

His legal team said if awarded, part of the amount would go to pay reparation for war victims.

Mr Bemba was excluded from running in the December presidential election because he was convicted of witness tampering by the ICC, an offence which is a form of corruption under DR Congo electoral law.

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