ICC to sentence DR Congo’s Bemba in bribery case

However, Bemba and five co-accused were found guilty on appeal in March of bribery, corruption and of coaching 14 defence witnesses in the main trial.

Bemba, 55, was handed a year-long prison term and a 300,000 euro ($350,000) fine.

ICC appeals judges, however, then ruled that the sentences of up to two-and-half years were too low and sent the case back for re-sentencing.

Prosecutors called for a maximum five years to be imposed on Bemba, his lawyer Aime Kilolo and his legal case manager Jean-Jacques Mangenda.

The ICC is to hand down its new rulings at 1300 GMT on Monday.

 ‘Miniature-Mobutu’  

In response to the corruption conviction, the Congolese Constitutional Court ruled that Bemba was ineligible to run in presidential polls on December 23.

He has already spent a decade behind bars during his trial and is thus unlikely to serve any more time.

After his June 8 acquittal in the main war crimes case, Bemba was provisionally freed by the ICC pending his sentencing in the corruption case.

It was unclear whether he would be present in court during Monday’s proceedings.

The bribery case has impeded the political ambitions of a man sometimes referred to as a “miniature-Mobutu”, in reference to the former Zaire’s long-time ruler who was ousted in 1997.

Bemba had declared his candidacy after making a triumphant return home last month, with tens of thousands of supporters turning out to greet him.

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