Media Advisory: 10 June 2016

Bemba case: Sentence to be delivered on 21 June 2016


Situation: The Central African Republic 
Case: The Prosecutor v. Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo

Today, 10 June 2016, Trial Chamber III of the International Criminal Court (ICC) announced that it will deliver the sentence in the case The Prosecutor v. Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo on Tuesday 21 June 2016 at 13:45 (The Hague local time) during a public hearing at the seat of the Court in The Hague (Netherlands). 

According to the Court's legal texts, the judges may impose a sentence of imprisonment to which they could add a fine or forfeiture of proceeds, property and assets derived directly or indirectly from the crimes. A sentence cannot exceed a maximum of 30 years, except when justified by the extreme gravity of the crime and the individual circumstances of the convicted person, in which case, a sentence of life imprisonment may be imposed. The number of years a person has previously spent in detention by the Court will be deducted from the sentence imposed by the judges.

ICC Trial Chamber III is composed of Presiding Judge Sylvia Steiner (Brazil), Judge Joyce Aluoch (Kenya) and Judge Kuniko Ozaki (Japan).

Background: On 21 March 2016, Trial Chamber III declared Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo guilty beyond any reasonable doubt of two counts of crimes against humanity (murder and rape) and three counts of war crimes (murder, rape, and pillaging). The crimes were committed in Central African Republic from on or about 26 October 2002 to 15 March 2003 by a contingent of the Mouvement de Libération du Congo troops. Mr Bemba was a person effectively acting as a military commander with effective authority and control over the forces that committed the crimes.

Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo was arrested by the Belgian authorities on 24 May 2008, pursuant to an ICC arrest warrant, and surrendered to the Court on 3 June 2008. On 15 June 2009, Pre-Trial Chamber II confirmed the charges against him. His trial started on 22 November 2010 and the closing oral statements of parties and participants were delivered on 12 and 13 November 2014. The Chamber granted 5229 persons the status of victims authorised to participate in the proceedings.

Further information on this case is available here.

Order Scheduling the Delivery of the Decision on Sentence pursuant to Article 76 of the Statute

Webstreaming of the hearing               

The hearing can be followed live on the ICC website at:

Attending the hearing

  • Members of the diplomatic corps, NGOs and other members of the public can request attendance via email to: [email protected]. Attendees must present a valid passport or valid ID with a photo at the main entrance of the Court (at: Oude Waalsdorperweg 10, 2597 AK The Hague).
  • Journalists wishing to cover the hearing can request accreditation via email to: [email protected]. All journalists must present a valid press card, and a valid passport or valid ID with a photo, at the main entrance of the Court (at: Oude Waalsdorperweg 10, 2597 AK The Hague).

Please note that individuals who do not confirm their attendance in advance cannot be guaranteed access to the hearing. In order to avoid delays in accessing the building, those attending are advised to arrive one hour before the hearing starts.

ICC Media Centre

For media representatives wishing to use the Court's media facilities, the Media Centre will open at 08:30.

The ICC Media Centre is located in the building's 'Court Tower'. It is composed of hot desk areas, which can sit up to 104 people, and two interview rooms.

The Media Centre distributes the video and embedded audio of the hearing, via HD-SDI with a female BNC connection. Journalists wishing to connect to this should bring compatible equipment and a BNC cable. Power is provided (European plug).

Wi-Fi connection is available in the Media Centre.

AV materials

Filming or photography is strictly prohibited inside the Court building, apart from the interview rooms in the Media Centre.

Audio-visual materials related to the proceedings will be available for download on an FTP server in video (MPEG-4) and audio (MPEG-3) format, and for viewing on the official ICC YouTube Channel. For information on audio-visual matters, please contact Violeta Willemsen-Curcic, Head of Audio-Visual Production Unit: [email protected]

Parking facilities

Media representatives can use the ICC's Visitor Parking.

SNG vehicles

The ICC Parking includes an area for SNG vehicles. BNC connections are available and the video format is HD-SDI with embedded Audio (8 dual mono pairs): Channel 1 – Floor language (international audio); Channel 2 - English interpretation; Channel 3 - French interpretation; Channel 4 - 8 - Other languages, or if no interpretation then Floor language will be sent.

For further information, please contact Fadi El Abdallah, Spokesperson and Head of Public Affairs Unit, International Criminal Court, by telephone at: +31 (0)70 515-9152 or +31 (0)6 46448938 or by e-mail at: [email protected].

You can also follow the Court's activities on YouTube and Twitter.