On Friday, 19 November, the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) directed Trial Chamber III to conduct a new review of the ruling on the detention of Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo, reversing the Trial Chamber’s decision of 28 July, 2010. Until and subject to that new review, Mr Bemba will remain in detention.
Presiding Judge Akua Kuenyehia indicated, in the oral summary of the Judgment read in an open session, that the Appeals Chamber, after careful deliberation, unanimously decided to reverse the impugned decision. Under the Rome Statute, Chambers have to review periodically – at least once every 120 days – their ruling on the accused’s detention. In the judgment delivered today, the Appeals Chamber holds that, in carrying out the review, Chambers have to asses whether there has been a change in the circumstances supporting the ruling on detention. The Appeals Chamber finds that the review carried out by Trial Chamber III was insufficient because it restricted itself to only assessing the alleged new circumstances which Mr Bemba had presented.
Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo is allegedly criminally responsible, as a person effectively acting as military commander within the meaning of article 28(a) of the Rome Statute, for crimes against humanity (murder and rape) and war crimes (murder, rape and pillaging), allegedly committed in the territory of the Central African Republic during the period from approximately 26 October, 2002 to 15 March, 2003. The opening of the trial is scheduled for 22 November, 2010.