ICC Allows Interim Release of Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo 14 Aug 2009
The ICC has ruled in favour of granting interim release of Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo.

Jean-Pierre Bemba GomboOn 14 August 2009, Pre Trial Chamber II at the International Criminal Court (ICC) granted the request for interim release of Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo. The Pre-Trial Chamber held that the continued detention of Bemba Gombo was not necessary to ensure his appearance at trial.

On 14 April 2009, the Pre Trial Chamber ordered the continued detention of Bemba Gombo, rejecting Bemba Gombo’s third application for interim release. However, the Pre-Trial Chamber reviewed this decision in conformity with article 60 (3) of the Rome Statute and rule 118 (3) of the Rules and Procedures of Evidence. According to the rules, the Chamber is to decide whether continued detention is necessary to ensure the accused’s appearance at trial, to prevent obstruction of the proceedings or to prevent continued commission of crimes.

Sitting as a Single Judge, Judge Ekaterina Trendafilova noted that “continued detention or release is not of a discretionary nature and [is] mindful of the underlying principle that deprivation of liberty is the exception not the rule” ordering Bemba-Gombo’s release, albeit with conditions.

The decision for interim release is deferred pending a decision of a state to which Bemba Gombo has requested to be released. These states have been invited to provide informative observations on the question of his interim release. It concerns the authorities of Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and South Africa.  Hearings are envisaged to take place between 7 and 14 September 2009.

ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo announced he will appeal the Pre Trial Chamber's decision to grant Bemba Gombo conditional release until his trial. The Prosecutor is set to present arguments in favour of continued detention in a hearing on 24 August 2009.

Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo is the only accused before the ICC in relation to the situation in Central African Republic, accused of committing crimes during a military intervention by the Mouvement de Libération du Congo (MLC). On 15 June 2009, the Pre-Trial Chamber decided that there was sufficient evidence to establish substantial grounds to believe that Bemba Gombo is criminally responsible as a military commander for two counts of crimes against humanity, and three counts of war crimes.

Research File: Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo

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Court Documents / Documents juridiques

Decision on Interim Release
14 August 2009

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