Bribery suspects held in Bemba’s ICC case

Former DR Congo vice-president Jean-Pierre Bemba appearing before the ICC for alleged war crimes.

Photo | FILE

What you need to know:

  • All the arrests made were in relation to the Jean-Pierre Bemba case following warrants of arrests issued by Judge Cuno Tarfusser.
  • Kenyan journalist Walter Barasa was accused by the Prosecutor of being behind attempts to bribe some of the court’s witness.

Four people suspected of bribing and corruptly influencing ICC witnesses have been arrested.

The four were seized in four different countries between Saturday and Sunday, and will be shipped to The Hague after all formalities are processed.

All the arrests made were in relation to the Jean-Pierre Bemba case following warrants of arrests issued by Judge Cuno Tarfusser.

Authorities in Netherlands, France,Belgium and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) arrested four individuals in relations to the warrants.

“The Belgian authorities arrested Aimé Kilolo Musamba, the Dutch authorities arrested Jean-Jacques Mangenda Kabongo, and Narcisse Arido was arrested by the French authorities, in response to requests for arrest and surrender from the ICC,” said a statement from the ICC.

The DRC authorities also seized Fidèle Babala Wandu and immediately embarked on plans to fly him to The Hague to face relevant charges.

The same court has put Kenya on the spotlight following allegations of influencing witnesses through corrupt means.

Kenyan journalist Walter Barasa was accused by the Prosecutor of being behind attempts to bribe some of the court’s witness.

A large numbers of witnesses have withdrawn in both President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto’s cases.

The Registrar of the ICC, Herman von Hebel, expressed his gratitude to the States’ authorities for their cooperation, stating that these are the first arrests made in relation to such charges before the ICC.

Mr Bemba is on trial for international crimes charges committed while he was the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Mouvement de libération du Congo.

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