Steven Powles represented Aime Kilolo, a lawyer who acted as an advisor to the ex-vice-president of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Jean-Pierre Bemba.
Mr Bemba is currently serving an 18-year sentence for war crimes. His trial related to the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war, and he was the first military commander to be convicted by the International Criminal Court in The Hague for the conduct of troops under his control, despite his not having ordered the series of murders, rapes and other atrocities which those troops carried out. Yesterday Mr Bemba was sentenced by the International Criminal Court to a further year in jail and fined €300,000 after a separate trial for bribing witnesses in that earlier case.
Steven’s client, Mr Kilolo, was Mr Bemba’s lawyer in the war crimes trial, and stood co-accused with him in the bribery trial. Despite his client’s close association with Mr Bemba, the court was persuaded to suspend Mr Kilolo’s prison sentence.
The case has been reported by The Guardian as well as other international outlets, especially in Africa.
Steven Powles is a criminal barrister with particular expertise in international crime and human rights. He leads Doughty Street International which co-ordinates the international work of members of Doughty Street Chambers, and is regularly instructed to represent professionals who come in to contact with the criminal justice system both in England and Wales and internationally. For more information on Steven, or our work in international crime and professional regulation, please phone his clerks on +44 (0)20 7404 1313.
Image: International Criminal Court