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Serb ultra-nationalist politician Vojislav Seselj (Photo: Twitter/@seselj_vojislav)
31 March 2016 by Stephanie van den Berg, The Hague (The Netherlands)

Serb ultra-nationalist politician Vojislav Seselj was acquitted Thursday of all nine charges of crimes against humanity and war crimes and is now a free man presiding judge Jean-Claude Antonetti of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) ruled. Seselj, already provisionally released on health grounds, was not present in court.

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Radovan Karadzic before ICTY
24 March 2016 by Stephanie van den Berg, The Hague (The Netherlands)

Judges of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) on Thursday convicted former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic of genocide for the 1995 Srebrenica massacre and nine other counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity. He was sentenced to 40 years in prison for his role in the 44-month siege of Sarajevo, the establishment of a network of detention camps in Prijedor where non-Serbs were abused and tortured and taking UN personnel hostage and many other crimes.

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Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo in the ICC courtroom during the delivery of his verdict on 21 March 2016 (Photo: Flickr/ICC-CPI)
21 March 2016 by Stephanie van den Berg

Judges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Monday ruled that Congolese politician Jean-Pierre Bemba's troops raped, murdered and pillaged civilians in the Central African Republic and that he, as their commander, could be held criminally responsible. The ruling is a historic one for the ICC as it is the first time the court has handed down convictions for sexual and crimes and also a first conviction on the basis of command responsibility [IJT-191].

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Initial appearance of Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo, Aimé Kilolo Musamba and Fidèle Babala Wandu, 27 November 2013  (Photo: Flickr/ICC-CPI)
17 March 2016 by Stephanie van den Berg, The Hague (The Netherlands)

The International Criminal Court will rule this coming Monday in the case of Congolese politician Jean-Pierre Bemba who stands accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Bemba, who was transferred to The Hague in 2008 was seen as the first 'big fish' to have been caught by the permanent war crimes court.

The accusations relate to crimes allegedly committed by his troops in the Central African Republic (CAR) during 2002 and 2003, when Bemba was asked by then CAR president Ange-Félix Patassé to provide support during a civil war. As commander of the Movement for the Liberation of Congo (MLC), Bemba is held accountable for multiple rapes and other crimes by his troops in CAR.

IJT spoke to three experts and longtime observers of the Bemba case about the significance of the ruling for the ICC, for international justice and jurisprudence and for the victims.

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Refugees arriving on the Greek island of Lesbos in September 2015 (Photo: Flickr/Ben White - CAFOD)
08 March 2016 by Stephanie van den Berg, The Hague (The Netherlands)

Parallel to calls for the establishment of an international tribunal to address alleged war crimes committed in Syria [IJT-169], many European countries say they have stepped up screening procedures to weed out possible war criminals amid the influx of Syrian refugees. The Netherlands, which has been somewhat of a pioneer in this regard, last week announced that in 2015 they denied asylum to 10 Syrian nationals because they are suspected of committing war crimes. But past experience points to a wide gap between identifying potential perpetrators and actually bringing them to justice.

NGO Top News

ICC prosecutor stresses psychological harm of Timbuktu destruction http://gettopical.com/non-governmental-organization/3d6108747ebb7bda7935... ? via @Justicetribune

Tjitske Lingsma

#ICC prosecutors focus in #AlMahdi case on cultural crimes; Mali victims disappointed: no justice for sexual crimes https://www.justicetribune.com/articles/icc-prosecutor-stresses-psycholo... ?

Int. Justice Tribune

#Mali NGO says victims feel abandoned by #ICC's narrow focus on Timbuktu destruction @fidh_en @fidh_africa https://www.justicetribune.com/articles/icc-prosecutor-stresses-psycholo... ?

Sergey Vasiliev

Is there no organization that "sustained direct harm" to property dedicated to religion and could qualify as victim? https://twitter.com/Justicetribune/status/704699891344396288 ?

Int. Justice Tribune

#Bensouda says psychological harm of #Timbuktu destruction warrants first #ICC case w/o victims: @benjaminduerr
https://www.justicetribune.com/articles/icc-prosecutor-stresses-psycholo... ?

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