Bemba at the heart of the Central African case

22 May 2006 by Emmanuel Chicon et Benjamin Bibas

On April 11, 2006, the Court of Cassation in Central African Republic (CAR) acknowledged that the International Criminal Court (ICC) has jurisdiction to try the primary perpetrators of the violent acts that accompanied General François Bozizé's first putsch attempt in October 2002. Bozizé finally took power during a successful coup d'état in March 2003 and was later elected president in spring 2005.

In its decision, the Court of Cassation ruled that the national court system in Central African Republic lacked jurisdiction to try the five people that the current government accuses of being the main perpetrators of the numerous cases of murder, rape, destruction and looting that occurred during the failed putsch in October 2002. The five suspected perpetrators are: former president Ange-Félix Patassé, currently in exile in Togo; the current vice president of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Jean-Pierre Bemba, who as head of the Liberation of Congo Movement (MLC) militia allegedly helped Patassé quash the October 2002 rebellion in exchange for money; Chadian-Central African militia leader Martin Koumtamadji, a.k.a. Abdoulaye Miskine, head of the Presidential Security Union (USP) and also a Patassé supporter in 2002; Patassé's former driver Victor Ndoubabé, who most likely died during the March 2003 coup; and former French police officer Paul Barril, who lead Patassé's close protection guard in 2002.

Want to read more?

If you subscribe to a free membership, you can read this article and explore our full archive, dating back to 1997.

Subscribe now

Related articles

21 December 2011 by Thijs Bouwknegt

Being the ICC's Chief Prosecutor is a delicate and politically sensitivejob.ForLuisMorenoOcampo it has been "the best job in the world." Fatou Bensouda will be taking over his office in June. She inhe

07 December 2011 by Thijs Bouwknegt

December 7, 2011 Ivory Coast is the latest playgroundoftheInternationalCriminal Court. This week the courtroom in The Hague became its theatre of justice. Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo proudly p

07 December 2011 by Richard Walker

Four Congolese witnesses testifying at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, find themselves caught in a legal wrangle, which could at once set a legal precedent and make them the last

07 December 2011 by Lindy Janssen

Brazil is booming. The economy is expanding and the country is getting ready to host the Football World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016. But the Latin American giant has not even begun dealing wi

07 December 2011 by Radosa Milutinovic

The primary purpose of the retrial of Ramush Haradinaj, as proclaimed by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in its appeal judgement in July, should have been to hear testimonies of two "key" witnesses who proved unwilling to testify in the original trial in 2007. Almost four months into the retrial which started in mid-August, its stated aim has not yet been achieved.