The Prosecutor v. Bemba et al.
Allegations & Charges
This case arises from the Accused’s actions in connection with the case of The Prosecutor v. Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo, in which Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo was charged, tried, and ultimately acquitted of crimes against humanity (murder, rape) and war crimes (murder, rape, and pillaging) at the ICC.
The ICC Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) alleges that defense case manager Jean-Jacques Mangenda Kabongo was a liaison between Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo and lead defense counsel Aimé Kilolo Musamba in a scheme, devised by Mr. Bemba, to transfer financial compensation to defense witnesses in exchange for false testimony and false or forged documents* favorable to the defense of Mr. Bemba in the case of The Prosecutor v. Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo. (*Pre-Trial Chamber II declined to confirm the charge of false or forged documents.)
From 2011 to November 14, 2013, Mr. Mangenda, as alleged by the OTP, relayed messages between Mr. Bemba and Mr. Kilolo with regard to contacting and scheduling witnesses, coaching of testimonies of witnesses, and transfer of money to witnesses. Mr. Mangenda also made proposals with regard to strategies to be pursued in the defense of Mr. Bemba.
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The Accused is charged with committing the crimes listed below as an individual, jointly with another or through another person, under Article 25(3)(a) of the Rome Statute, and with aiding, abetting, or otherwise assisting in the commission of these crimes under Article 25(3)(c).
Under these two modes of criminal liability, the Accused is charged with the following crimes:
Giving False Testimony in Court (Offense against the Administration of Justice): Article 70(1)(a)
Presenting False Evidence (Offense against the Administration of Justice): Article 70(1)(b)
Corruptly Influencing Witnesses (Offense against the Administration of Justice): Article 70(1)(c)
Pre-Trial Chamber II issued a sealed arrest warrant for Jean-Jacques Mangenda Kabongo on November 20, 2013, which was unsealed on November 28, 2013. Mr. Mangenda entered ICC custody on December 4, 2013. Charges were confirmed against Mr. Mangenda on November 11, 2014. His trial opened on September 29, 2015.
Jean-Jacques Mangenda Kabongo was found guilty of aiding witnesses in providing false testimony, presenting false or forged evidence, and corruptly influencing witnesses. Mr. Mangenda was acquitted of aiding witnesses in providing false testimony as to some witnesses. He was sentenced to a suspended sentence of 2 years’ imprisonment with approximately 11 months deducted for prior detention.
On appeal, Mr. Mangenda’s conviction was upheld in part but he was acquitted of the charge under Article 70(1)(b) of presenting false or forged evidence, as the Appeals Chamber found that provision of the statute only applied to presenting documentary evidence, not calling of witnesses (at issue in this case). The case was remanded, per the OTP’s appeal, for reconsideration of the sentence upon the Appeals Chamber finding that the Trial Chamber had erred in assessing the gravity of the offenses and that the Trial Chamber does not have the power to impose suspended sentences. Mr. Mangenda was re-sentenced on September 17, 2018, to 11 months’ imprisonment, which was deemed to have been served in consideration of Mr. Mangenda’s prior detention.
- Initial Appearance : December 5, 2013
Decision on the confirmation of chargesConfirmation of Charges : November 11, 2014
Mr. Mangenda and four other accused were convicted of various offenses against the administration of justice.
Mr. Mangenda was convicted of corruptly influencing 14 witnesses and presenting their false evidence (Articles 70(1)(b) and (c)), and aiding or abetting false testimony by witnesses (2 and 7 witnesses respectively).
Mr. Mangenda was acquitted of aiding 5 witnesses in providing false testimony.
Jean-Jacques Mangenda Kabongo was sentenced to 2 years’ imprisonment. The time that Mr. Mangenda spent previously in detention was deducted. The Chamber ordered the suspension of the operation of the remaining term of imprisonment for a period of 3 years so that the sentence shall not take effect unless during that period Mr. Mangenda commits another offence anywhere that is punishable with imprisonment.
On appeal, Mr. Mangenda’s conviction was upheld in part, but he was acquitted of the charge of presenting false or forged evidence under Article 70(1)(b). The Appeals Chamber found that provision of the statute only applied to presenting documentary evidence, not calling of witnesses (at issue in this case).
The Appeals Chamber also found that the Trial Chamber did not have the power to impose suspended sentences, as it had done in Mr. Mangenda’s case, and that the Trial Chamber had failed to adequately assess the gravity of the offenses, and remanded to the Trial Chamber to determine a new sentence for Mr. Mangenda and two other defendants in the case.
Press ReleaseAppeal : March 8, 2018
Appeals Judgment on Conviction
Summary of Appeals Judgment on Conviction
Appeals Judgment on Sentence
Summary of Appeals Judgment on Sentence
Mr. Mangenda was re-sentenced on September 17, 2018, to 11 months’ imprisonment, which was deemed to have been served in consideration of Mr. Mangenda’s prior detention.