ICC judges order Jean-Pierre Bemba's interim release

Wednesday June 13 2018

Jean Pierre Bemba, drc, icc

Former DR Congo vice president Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo at the International Criminal Crimes court room on March 21, 2016 in The Hague. The ICC acquitted Bemba on appeal on June 8, 2018. PHOTO | FILE 

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International judges Tuesday ordered an interim conditional release of former Congolese vice president Jean-Pierre Bemba who was acquitted last week of war crimes after a decade behind bars.

"Today... the International Criminal Court ordered the interim release under specific conditions for Mr Jean-Pierre Bemba," The Hague-based tribunal said in a statement.

"Taking into account all relevant factors and the circumstances of the case as a whole, the Trial Chamber considers that the legal requirements for continued detention are not met," the court said.

The heavy-set Congolese politician was acquitted on appeal Friday by the ICC, which said he could not be held criminally liable for crimes committed by his troops in the Central African Republic in 2002-2003.

The surprise decision came after Bemba, 55, had been sentenced unanimously to 18 years in 20