Congo's ex-VP, four aides found guilty of corrupting witnesses


The Hague (AFP)

International judges on Wednesday found former Congolese vice president Jean-Pierre Bemba and four aides guilty of corrupting witnesses, by bribing them with money and laptops to lie during the testimony to his war crimes trial.

The case was "about clear, and downright criminal behaviour of the five accused... that resulted in serious offences against the administration of justice," judge Bertram Schmitt told the International Criminal Court as handed down the verdict.

"No legal system in the world can accept the bribing of witnesses, the inducement of witnesses to lie or the coaching of witnesses. Today's judgement sends a clear message that the court is not willing to allow its proceedings to be hampered or destroyed.