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ICC gives former Congo VP Bemba extra year in prison

A former Congolese vice president has been sentenced to an extra year in prison and fined 300,000 euros ($324,000) for interfering with witnesses in his trial at the International Criminal Court.

Jean-Pierre Bemba, who already is serving an 18-year prison term for crimes committed in Central African Republic by a militia he commanded, was sentenced Wednesday along with four members of the legal team.

They were convicted in October of corruptly influencing defense witnesses and presenting false testimony in Bemba’s trial linked to atrocities in the Central African Republic in 2002-2003.

The four legal team members were given sentences ranging from six months to two-and-a-half years.

Presiding Judge Bertram Schmitt said the sentences should act as a deterrent to prevent similar crimes in the future.

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