Press Release: 2 February 2016

Bemba case: Trial Chamber III to deliver its verdict on 21 March 2016 in open Court


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

Today, 2 February 2016, Trial Chamber III of the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an order scheduling the hearing to deliver the verdict in the case The Prosecutor v. Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo on Monday 21 March 2016, at 14:00 (The Hague local time), in open session. The Chamber is composed of Judges Sylvia Steiner (Brazil), presiding, Joyce Aluoch (Kenya) and Kuniko Ozaki (Japan).

The session will be transmitted live through the ICC website. Practical information on attending the session and information material will be available in due course.

The verdict will be read out in public and will either acquit or convict the accused. The accused before the ICC is presumed innocent. While the Prosecution must prove the guilt of the accused, the Trial Chamber will convict the accused only if it is satisfied that the charges have been proven beyond reasonable doubt. The three judges ensure the fairness of the trial and that the rights of both parties and of the victims are respected. In response to the verdict, the various parties will be able to appeal the decision before the ICC's Appeals Chamber.

The trial in the Bemba case started on 22 November 2010 and the submission of evidence in the case was closed on 7 April 2014. On 2 October 2014, upon the Defence's request, the Chamber reopened the evidentiary hearing, for purposes of hearing further testimony. This further testimony concluded on 24 October 2014. The Prosecution, the Defence, and the Legal Representatives of Victims made their closing oral statements on 12 and 13 November 2014.

Mr Bemba is allegedly criminally responsible, as a military commander, for two counts of crimes against humanity (murder and rape) and three counts of war crimes (murder, rape and pillaging) allegedly committed in the context of the situation in Central African Republic in 2002-2003.

Order Scheduling the Delivery of the Judgment Pursuant to Article 74 of the Rome Statute

For further information on this case, please click here.

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