This is what can happen to war criminals, how the process works. The MLC, was a violent guerilla movement, operating in Congo. It is now a political party. In 2002-2003 it is said to have committed serious crimes against humanity: rape, torture and some say even cannibalism. Multi-Millionaire Bemba is the leader of the gang.
Pre-Trial Chamber III found that there are reasonable grounds to believe that in the context of a protracted armed conflict in the Central African Republic from about 25 October 2002 to 15 March 2003, MLC forces led by Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo carried out a widespread or systematic attack against a civilian population during which rape, torture, outrages upon personal dignity and pillaging were committed in, but not limited to, the localities of PK 12, Bossongoa and Mongoumba.
Pre-Trial Chamber III also found that there are reasonable grounds to believe that Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo, as President and Commander in Chief of the MLC, was vested with de facto and de jure authority by the members of the MLC to take all political and military decisions.
Two days ago, the International Criminal Court in The Hague issued a secret arrest warrant for Bemba. A day later he was arrested in Belgium and after a hearing at a Belgium court, he is expected to be transferred to The Hague in the next few weeks.
The Pre-Trial Chamber issued a warrant of arrest on 23 May 2008. This arrest warrant remained under seal until his arrest on 24 May 2008.
“Mr. Bemba’s arrest is a warning to all those who commit, who encourage, or who tolerate sexual crimes. There is a new law called the Rome Statute. Under this new law, they will be prosecuted” said the Prosecutor.
“There are no excuses for hundreds of rapes. There are no excuse for the rape of a little girl, with her parents watching. There are no excuses for commanders ordering, authorizing or acquiescing to the commission of rapes and looting by their forces. We have evidence that Mr Bemba committed crimes.. With the Rome Statute, nobody is beyond the reach of international criminal justice. Nobody can side with the criminals and against the victims. Bosco Ntaganda, who committed crimes in Ituri and continues to commit crimes today in the Kivus, Joseph Kony of Uganda’s Lord’s Resistance Army, Ahmed Harun, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs for the Sudan, will also end up in jail.”
“I went to CAR, I met the victims, those who survived the violence, those who survived AIDS. We cannot erase the scars. But we can give them justice. Their testimonies will be strong evidence for the Prosecution. The victims will tell their stories in Court, this power will be theirs.”
Yes, I can see the rationale behind the Jesse Helms masterpiece act. Ruth will love this.