The Bemba trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) did not recommence today as earlier scheduled and is now set to reopen this Thursday. It was not possible to establish from court officials why the resumption was postponed yet again.
Last month, the trial went on recess a week before schedule, as the four remaining prosecution witnesses were unable to travel to The Hague at the time. Prosecutors had hoped to have these witnesses in court starting last Monday, but up to now none of them has appeared.
According to prosecutors, all their remaining witnesses are former insiders in the Movement for the Liberation of Congo (MLC), the group Mr. Bemba led. It is over his alleged failure to control his troops who committed rapes, murders, and pillaging in the Central African Republic that Mr. Bemba is on trial.
Since the start of the trial in November 2010, prosecutors have called 36 witnesses. It is anticipated that once the prosecution closes its case, judges will permit a few of the victims participating in the trial – probably a total of seven – to give oral testimony before the start of the defense case.