Incoming AU Commision Chairman says peace more important than Bashir’s arrest: On Wednesday, 1 August 2012, the AU Commission’s new chairman, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, stated that Bashir is vital to peace negotiations and should not be arrested. During a meeting of seven former president taking place before she has assumed her new position, Dlamini-Zuma was quoted as saying: “It is important to get peace in Sudan, especially in Darfur, President al- Bashir has to be part of that. It is more important to get peace in Sudan than to rush for an arrest” and “It may not be easy but we have to do it. We must at all times find settlement to our conflicts. If we don’t find them, who will.”
ICC Lawyers say Saif Gaddafi cannot get a fair trial in Libya: On 31 July 2012, the ICC appointed defense attorneys for Saif Gaddafi publically released their observations on Libya’s admissibility challenge. The observations review the violations to Saif Gaddafi’s due process rights and assert that Libya is not genuinely willing or able to bring Saif to justice under international standards. Within their observations, the lawyers also explain that Saif Gaddafi wished to deliver a statement to the Court expressing his wish to be tried at the ICC but it was confiscated by the Libyan authorities under the explanation that it violated national security. Mr Gaddafi’s intended statement expresses such sentiment as “I want to face justice. I want to do so because I believe that Libya, the victims in Libya, the intemationally community and myself- all have a right to the truth, and for the truth to be made Public. I would have liked to have been tried in Libya by Libyan judges under Libyan law in front of the Libyan people. But what has been happening in my case cannot be called a trial. … I am not afraid to die but if you execute me after such a trial you should just call it murder and be done with it.” (For additional information on this topic, please 1. click here, 2. click here and 3. click here).
Human rights organizations condemn crimes on both sides in Aleppo: A new report from Amnesty International alleges that mass violations of human rights have been committed by the Syrian Government. The report says that peaceful demonstrator have been killed and injured by the “characteristically reckless and brutal use of force” used by security forces of President Bashar al-Assad. At the same time, crimes are alleged against rebel forces fighting in Aleppo, with a video emerging of four Assad loyalists being executed; included one head of a local militia. Human Rights Watch and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights have both said the act could be considered a war crime. (For additional information on this topic, please click here).
Algerian former defence minister likely to be tried in Switzerland for crimes: On 31 July 2012 the Switzerland’s top criminal court rejected an application from the former defense minister of Algeria Khaled Nezzar arguing that he could not be tried outside of Algeria for crimes committed within Algeria. The director of the Geneva based organization TRIAL has stated that this might mean Nezzar is tried in Switzerland, calling the judgment “historic.” Nezzar served as Algeria’s defense minister from 1990 to 1993. While defense minister, he participated in a coup that overthrew President Chadli Benjadid and is alleged to have participated in the “dirty war” which killed 200,000 people.
ICC elected Czech judge would assume duties in 2013 or 2014: On 1 August 2012 Robert Fremr, who was elected to serve a nine year term as a member of the 18 judge Chambers before the International Criminal Court, stated that he will not assume his duties before the Court until 2013 or 2014. Fremr said the postponement is common practice while waiting for outgoing judges to finish ongoing cases before the Court. After returning from his duties as a judge before the ICTR in July, Fremr will serve as a judge before the Czech Supreme Court in Brno until be begins his duties at the ICC.