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DRC’s Bemba To Face ICC Sentencing In Bribery Case

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DRC's Bemba To Face ICC Sentencing In Bribery Case

International judges will sentence former Congolese vice president Jean-Pierre Bemba next month for bribing witnesses during his war crimes trial, the Hague-based tribunal said on Wednesday.

“Trial Chamber of the International Criminal Court scheduled a hearing on 17 September to deliver its decision (on the) re-sentencing (of) Mr Jean-Pierre Bemba,” and two others, the ICC said in a statement.

In June, a starkly divided five-judge bench overturned Bemba’s 2016 conviction and 18-year jail term for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by his troops in the neighbouring Central African Republic in 2003 and acquitted him.

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However, Bemba and five co-accused in a separate case were convicted on appeal in March of bribery, corruption and of coaching 14 defence witnesses in his main trial.

Bemba was originally handed a year-long prison term and a $350 000 fine.

Appeals judges however ruled that the original sentences imposed for corruption of between two-and-half years and six months were too low and they sent the case back to the lower court for re-sentencing.

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Prosecutors called for a maximum five years to be imposed on Bemba, his lawyer Aime Kilolo and his legal case manager Jean-Jacques Mangenda.

After Bemba’s June 8 acquittal in the main war crimes case, he was provisionally freed by the ICC pending his sentencing in the corruption case.

Bemba has since returned to the DRC but has been banned from running in the central African country’s upcoming presidential elections because of the ICC’s bribery conviction.

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The former warlord and powerful businessman said he would take a legal route to contest the country’s elections by appealing to the DRC’s top court.

It remains unclear whether Bemba will return to The Hague for the sentencing.

The maximum sentence the court can impose is five years but Bemba has already spent a decade behind bars during his trial and thus is unlikely to serve any more time.

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African News

Ramaphosa Deploys SANDF To Mozambique As Cyclone Affects SA Power Supply

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Ramaphosa Deploys SANDF To Mozambique As Cyclone Affects SA Power Supply

South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa says he has deployed the South African National Defense Force, SANDF, to Mozambique to assist in recovery efforts after cyclone Idal caused severe damage, knocking down pylons and affecting power supply to Eskom.

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The storm is said to have damaged a Mozambican transmission line to South Africa, cutting supplies by 900 mega watts, and worsening already strained electricity supply in South Africa.

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The president has apologized to South Africans for the crisis that has led to an increase in load shedding.  Ramaphosa said the problem should be cleared within two to three days.

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African News

Kenya: Former Destitute Man, Patrick Hinga Passes On

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Kenya: Former Destitute Man, Patrick Hinga Passes On

Former destitute street adult in Kenya, Patrick Hinga, has died.  His rescue and transformation by a former schoolmate became an internet sensation.  Hinga’s rehabilitation from the abyss of drug abuse was captured and shared step by step on social media by Wanja Nwaura, a childhood friend, who also broke the sad news on Sunday.

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Nwaura had a chance meeting with Hinga in 2017 when he shouted her name as she was getting to a market.  A journey back from drug addiction began for Nwaura’s childhood friend who had spent many years living in the streets.

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Nwaura took Hinga out of the streets and got him help at a local rehabilitation center.  Born in 1983, Hinga’s drug problems began when he was in standard 8. His friends introduced him to the lifestyle that later destroyed him.

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Nwaura launched an appeal for Hinga’s rehabilitation as the Chiromo medical lane center.  He completed the program in 2018, and the hospital waived a fifteen hundred dollars bill.

Nwaura did not say what caused her friend’s death.

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African News

Black Boxes Data Shows “Clear Similarities” Between Ethiopian And Lion Air Crashes

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Black Boxes Data Shows “Clear Similarities” Between Ethiopian And Lion Air Crashes

Black boxes from the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 jet crash last week have shown what authorities call “clear similarities” with October’s lion air crash 737.

The crash has generated one of the most widely watched and high-stakes inquiries for years, with the latest version of Boeing’s profitable max series.

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Both jets in the crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia were max 8, and both crashed minutes after take-off when pilots reported control problems.

Concern over the plane’s safety led aviation authorities to ground the model, wiping billions off Boeing’s market value.

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Ethiopian transport ministry spokesman, Muse Yiheyis, has said the data were successfully recovered, and they show similar case with the Indonesian crash.  He said American and Ethiopian teams had validated data from the black boxes.  Us officials told Reuters News Agency in Washington they have not validate the data.

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