Court hears of Bemba 'war crimes'

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War crimes judges have begun hearing evidence against a militia commanded by former Democratic Republic of Congo Vice-President Jean-Pierre Bemba.

His Movement for the Liberation of Congo intervened in a power struggle in neighbouring Central African Republic in 2002 and 2003.

The International Criminal Court pre-trial hearings involve claims of murder and rape. Mr Bemba denies all charges.

He says his troops were not under his command once they crossed the border.

Mr Bemba, a former rebel leader, became DR Congo's vice-president in 2003 under a power-sharing deal intended to end years of conflict.

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