The International Criminal Court (ICC) on Wednesday convicted a former Congolese vice president and four members of his legal team for bribing witnesses in his trial.
“Jean-Pierre Bemba, who had already been imprisoned by the court for other offences and the others, bribed 14 witnesses with money or promises of helping them emigrate to the European Union,’’ the court said.
It was the first time that the ICC, based in The Hague, had found suspects guilty of trying to pervert the course of justice.
However, the sentences were due to be announced later.
Bemba was sentenced in June to 18 years in prison when the ICC found him guilty of killings, mass rape and looting.
Bemba committed the crime when he was the supreme commander of the Movement for the Liberation of Congo (MLC) rebel forces during a coup in neighbouring Central African Republic in 2002 to 2003