Congolese Ex-Vice President Convicted of War Crimes at International Court

The charges against Jean-Pierre Bemba — a former rebel leader and vice president in the Democratic Republic of Congo — related to rapes, murders and pillaging allegedly carried out by his fighters between 2002 and 2003 in the Central African Republic

The International Criminal Court convicted a former Congolese vice president Monday of war crimes and crimes against humanity in a landmark case at the Hague, NBC News reported. 

The charges against Jean-Pierre Bemba — a former rebel leader and vice president in the Democratic Republic of Congo — related to rapes, murders and pillaging allegedly carried out by his fighters between 2002 and 2003 in neighboring Central African Republic's Civil War. 

Bemba, 53, is the highest-ranking person yet convicted by the court. He had pleaded not guilty to all charges; his defense had argued that he didn't have command and control over Movement for the Liberation of Congo (MLC) fighters.

He will be sentenced following a separate hearing. 

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