Managing Frozen Assets at the International Criminal Court: The Fallout of the Bemba Acquittal

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Abstract

On 8 June 2018, more than ten years after his arrest, the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) reversed Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo’s conviction by the Trial Chamber for crimes against humanity and war crimes, acquitting him of all charges. Soon after the start of his time in detention in The Hague, assets belonging to Bemba were frozen by States across a number of jurisdictions at the request of the ICC. Many of these assets remain frozen, more than 15 months after his acquittal. This article examines the consequences of prolonged asset freezes by the ICC through the lens of the Bemba case, demonstrating the existence of gaps in legal framework applicable to the management of frozen assets under the ICC Statute system and suggesting possible responses thereto at the domestic and international levels.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)765–790
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of International Criminal Justice
Volume18
Issue number3
Early online date23 Aug 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Aug 2020

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