Will Bemba’s acquittal have consequences for reparations?
On 8 June 2018, the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) acquitted Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo for war crimes and crimes against humanity, crimes he had been found guilty of by the ICC’s Trial Chamber III in March 2016. Following his conviction, Trial Chamber III appointed experts to advise it on reparations for Mr Bemba’s victims and on the scope of his liability for reparations. Whether and how the Appeals Chamber’s decision will impact the reparations for the victims in this case, is now uncertain; Trial Chamber III has invited the Defence, the victims’ legal representative, the Office of Public Counsel for Victims, the Office of the Prosecutor and the Trust Fund for Victims (TFV) to give their view on what the consequences should be before July 20th 2018.
Notwithstanding Bemba’s acquittal, the TFV has announced that in the context of the Bemba case, there is massive evidence of victim suffering and therefore it will speed up the launch of a programme providing victims and their families in the Central African Republic with physical and psychological rehabilitation and material aid.