Congo's Bemba returns to country to register as candidate

August 01, 2018 - 4:44 am

KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — Congo's former Vice President Jean-Pierre Bemba has returned to the country to register as a presidential candidate in December's long-delayed election, a decade after his arrest in Belgium led to a trial at the International Criminal Court.

Bemba arrived in a private jet in the capital, Kinshasa. Members of his opposition Movement for the Liberation of Congo party have greeted him. Police presence is high.

Appeals judges with the ICC in June overturned Bemba's convictions for murder, rape and pillaging committed by his forces in neighboring Central African Republic in 2002 and 2003.

He had been sentenced in 2016 to 18 years in prison but maintained his innocence. He still awaits a final sentencing at the ICC in another case in which he was convicted of interfering with witnesses.

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