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Bemba Hearings Cancelled for the Week

Hearings in the trial of Jean-Pierre Bemba at the International Criminal Court (ICC) have been postponed again. They are scheduled to resume Monday, April 19. The hearings had earlier been scheduled to take place all week with a new defense witness taking the stand.

Although court officials could not say why the hearings were called off, it is likely that the next scheduled witness is not yet available to give evidence. Over the last few months the defense repeatedly stated that it is unable to get its witnesses based in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic to the seat of the court in the Netherlands. Many of them feared possible reprisals for testifying at the court. The three last defense witnesses testified via video link.

Seventeen of the listed 63 witnesses have testified for Mr. Bemba since the opening of the defense case last August.