World court gives go ahead for ex-DRC vice president's trial
World court judges removed the final hurdle Tuesday to starting the war crimes trial of former DR Congo vice president Jean-Pierre Bemba, rejecting his bid to have the case dismissed.
"The Appeals Chamber confirms the impugned decision and dismisses the appeal," International Criminal Court appeals judge Anita Usacka said in The Hague, two-and-a-half years after Bemba was arrested on an ICC warrant.
The 47-year-old stands accused of three charges of war crimes and two of crimes against humanity allegedly committed in the Central African Republic (CAR) from October 2002 to March 2003.
He is charged for acts of murder, rape and pillaging allegedly committed by members of his Congolese Liberation Movement (MLC) while helping troops of then CAR president Ange-Felix Patasse resist a coup bid.
ICC judges had been awaiting Tuesday's ruling before setting a trial date.
© 2010 AFP