Archive for category ICC

9 December 2014 – NEWS ABOUT THE COURTS

ICC Prosecutor outlines new policy against gender-based violence: Prosecutor of the ICC, Fatou Bensouda, recently launched the Court’s new policy related to Sexual and Gender-Based Crimes.  Bensouda assured those present at her speech at the UN that the new policy would aim to strengthen the Office’s capacity to investigate and prosecute the high numbers of gender-based crimes committed around the world which fall in the Court’s jurisdiction.  (ICC).

Palestine secures observer status before ICC: Palestine will receive a seat at the ICC.  Palestine will now be able to request that the ICC investigate alleged war crimes that have taken place in the occupied territories in the capacity of an observer state.  Consequently, Palestine is now recognized as a state by the signatories to the Rome Statute.  (For additional information on this topic, please click here.)  (Aljazeera, JPost).

Brazil President declines human rights investigations against former military: President Dilam Rouseff has received a great deal of criticism after making the decision not to support the prosecution of military officers responsible for abuses during the 1964-85 years of dictatorial rule.  (Reuters).

Georgia ratifies aggression provisions of ICC Statute: Georgia is the latest country to ratify the amendments to the Rome Statute on the crime of aggression.  Once thirty States Parties have ratified the amendments, the Court may proceed exercising jurisdiction over the crime of aggression.  (RTTnews).

Ukraine seeks ICJ Case against Russia:  Ukraine has announced that the country seeks to initiate proceedings in the ICJ against Russia for the alleged violation of a UN convention on terrorism.  Claims have also been failed with the ECHR by Ukraine.  The UN human rights office has asked that an immediate investigation be carried out to assess the number and severity of alleged war crimes.  (Rapsinews).

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8 December 2014 – NEWS ABOUT THE COURTS

Following withdrawal of Kenyatta charges, Amnesty calls for justice for victims: President Kenyatta’s charges for crimes against humanity were dropped last week and Amnesty International now demands justice for the victims. Amnesty’s regional director for East Africa, the Horn of Africa and the Great Lakes region, Muthoni Wanyeki, stated that the ICC and the Kenyan government are failing the victims. Mitchelle Kagiri, Amnesty’s deputy regional director for East Africa, stated that the ICC should reopen investigations to find areas that were missed. (World Bulletin)

Israel initiates investigations into crimes in Gaza: The Israeli military has initiated investigations into crimes that occurred during the war between Israeli and Palestinian militant groups in the Gaza Strip this past summer. The war lasted for fifty days and ended on August 23rd. The Israeli military already faced accusations of war crimes from Amnesty International and an inquiry from the United Nations Human Rights Council. (The New York Times)

ICT Bangladesh to amend tribunal’s founding act to include prosecution of an organisation: The International Criminal Tribunal Act of 1973 did not contain a provision for trying organisations in the court. The government is now trying to amend the Act in order to bring organisations like Jamaat-e-Islami before the court. The government wants to try Jamaat-e-Islami for crimes against humanity during the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971. The proposed amendment will be given to the cabinet this December or in January. (Dhaka Tribune)

Interpol issues red notices for Muslim Brotherhood leaders: Interpol issued over forty arrest warrants for Muslim Brotherhood leaders this past week. This included Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, head of the Doha-based International Union of Muslim Scholars. An Egyptian security official stated that those on the warrant list are wanted for different terror-related crimes. He also stated that Egyptian authorities helped persuade Interpol that these members of the Muslim Brotherhood were fugitives and terrorists. (Albawaba News)

UNSC to evaluate N. Korea HR record: The United Nations Security Council will meet later this month due to ten of the fifteen members requesting to discuss North Korea’s rights record in a letter to Chadian Ambassador Cherif Mahamat Zene, whose country currently holds the council’s presidency. The meeting concerns referring Pyongyang to the ICC for crimes against humanity. UN diplomats stated that it was likely that China would block the move to refer North Korea to the ICC with its veto power. (China Post)

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5 December 2014 – NEWS ABOUT THE COURTS

ICC Prosecutor withdraws charges against Kenyan President Kenyatta: Prosecutors at the ICC dropped the charges against Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta for crimes against humanity. Kenyatta was indicted for inciting post-election violence in 2007. The charges were dropped after the ICC gave prosecutors a one-week deadline to submit evidence against Kenyatta or to drop the charges. Prosecutors had asked for more time to build its case on more than one occasion, claiming witnesses had been bribed or intimidated. The ICC gave this one-week ultimatum stating that any further delays would be “contrary to the interest of justice.” (BBC) (for additional information please click here)

Former UNAMID spokesperson asks Bensouda to push UNSC for Sudan inquiry: Aicha Elbasri, former United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur spokesperson, asked prosecutor of the ICC, Fatou Bensouda, to look into an alleged cover-up by UN peacekeepers in Sudan. Elbasri pushed Bensouda to ask the United Nations Security Council to look further into these matters. Elbasri’s letter stated that the UN peacekeepers assigned to investigate the claims of manipulating the truth about Darfur were part of “an internal, partial, biased and secretive process.” Elbasri stepped down as spokesperson in April 2013 with claims that she had been prevented from informing the public about the events occurring in Darfur. (Sudan Tribune)

ECCC Prosecution appeals judges’ decision not to consider foreseeable crimes: The Trial Chamber of the Khmer Rouge tribunal refused ECCC prosecutor’s claims against Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan in crimes that the two did not directly order or oversee. The prosecutors are now appealing that decision stating that the defendants should be held accountable for crimes that were reasonably foreseeable. Chea and Samphan both are already facing life sentences for crimes against humanity and are appealing those decisions. William Smith, international deputy co-prosecutor, stated that the Trial Chamber should be able to consider crimes such as rape that were foreseeable from actions of the accused. (Cambodia Daily)

Seselj rejects return to ICTY detention after provisional release: Earlier this week, the prosecution filed a motion to send nationalist leader Vojislav Seselj back to ICTY detention. Seselj was accused with Serbian war crimes, but was provisionally released to seek treatment for cancer. Seselj vowed that he would not return to the Tribunal. Chief prosecutor, Serge Brammertz, stated that despite Seselj’s health condition, Seselj has still made many comments that insult victim communities. Brammertz also stated that these comments called into question the trial chamber’s assessment of Seselj’s condition for provisional release. (Journal of Turkish Weekly)

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2 December 2014 – NEWS ABOUT THE COURTS

North Korea issues report countering Western human rights allegations:  In response to a report by the UN General Assembly, which recommended referring the DRKP and its leader, Kim Jong Un, to the International Criminal Court to face charges including crimes against humanity, the DRKP issued a rebuttal refuting all claims.  Despite the UN findings, it is expected that China and Russia, DRKP supporters, will use their veto power to keep any charges from being filed against the DRKP and its leader. (IBTimes).

Former Jamaat, BNP Parliament Member held, anticipating charges by ICT-1:  War crimes suspect and former BNP and Jamaat-e-Islami lawmaker Mawlana Sakhawat Hossain, was arrested in Masterpara, of Uttar Khan by authorities and later brought before the ICT-1.  Sakhawat is suspected of being involved in the commission of war crimes during 1971.  It is expected that the prosecution for bring charges of war crimes against Sakhawat as soon as the necessary amount of evidence has been gathered to substantiate such allegations.  (Daily Star).

Egyptian Court refuses corruption charges against former President Mubarak:  An Egyptian court has dismissed charges against President Mubarak in connection with the death of protesters during the 2011 uprising against him.  However, Mubarak will not walk free, hw was found guilty of theft of public funds and will continue to serve the remaining time left of his three-year house arrest sentence.  Discussions of an appeal are underway.  (Aljazeera).

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1 December 2014 – NEWS ABOUT THE COURTS

ICC Appeals Chamber upholds Lubanga conviction: On 1 December 2014 Thomas Lubanga, a Congolese war criminal, had his conviction of war crimes confirmed. Erkki Kourula, the Appeals Chamber presiding judge, stated that the majority rejected the appeal. Lubanga was convicted for recruiting and using child soldiers in the Ituri region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo from 2002-2003. He is set to serve his 14-year prison sentence, though the eight years that he spent in jail waiting for the conclusion of his trial count towards his sentence. The confirmation of Lubanga’s sentence by the ICC marks the close of the court’s first case. (Reuter, Aljazeera) (for additional information please click here)

ICTY Prosecutor requests that Seselj provisional release revoked: After almost 12 years in detention, Serbian nationalist leader Vojislav Seselj was released last month to get treatment for cancer. ICTY prosecutors stated the Seselj must be brought back to detention after his threats heightened tension in the Balkans. Seselj has rallied supporters and is once again defending the nationalism he supported in the 1990s. Prosecutors urged the judges to order his return. Prosecutor Serge Brammertz stated that Seselj was in detention for crimes against humanity and has threatened those who were cooperating in the prosecution. Brammertz also stated that Seselj violated his temporary release by vowing never to return to detention voluntarily. (Bloomberg. Daily Mail) (for additional information please click here)

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24 November 2014 – NEWS ABOUT THE COURTS

ECCC boycott results in trial adjournment until January 2015: The genocide trial for Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan, two ex-Khmer Rouge leaders, has been adjourned until 8 January 2015. Khieu Samphan’s defence attorneys continued to boycott the proceedings for the defendant. Both defendants wanted more time to file appeal documents on their life sentences for crimes against humanity in a previous trial in August. Judge Nil Nonn stated that the court did not have any other alternative, but would pursue misconduct proceedings against the attorneys. (eNews Channel Africa)

 Activist calls for UNSC attention to alleged rapes in Darfur: Ahmed Hussein Adam, researcher at Cornell University, calls to the UN Security Council to probe into the security and humanitarian situation in Darfur and protect civilians. Hussein Adam urged the Security Council to inquire into the mass rape of women in Tabit. He expressed disappointment by victims and their families in the Security Council’s decision for the Sudanese government to conduct investigations. Hussein Adam does not think that Sudan should investigate itself and called for the ICC to investigate, as well as add more charges. (Radio Dabanga)

ICC Prosecution Witness testifies about treatment in witness protection: An ICC prosecution witness, referred to as Witness 800, states how he considered recanting his statement for the prosecution in a trial due to the treatment by protection officers. An individual, referred to as person 19, told him about an offer from another individual, referred to as person 7. Witness 800 considered taking the offer because the amount of money his family received was not enough to support them. This is not the first instance of witness interference in the trial against Deputy President William Samoei Ruto and former journalist Joshua arap Sang who both face three counts of crimes against humanity. (AllAfrica)

HRW says Israeli’s demolition of Palestinian homes could be war crime: On 22 November 2014, Human Rights Watch called upon Israel to stop its practice of demolishing Palestine terrorists’ homes. The NGO states that this practice unlawfully punishes those who did not commit terrorist acts and could constitute as a war crime. Three current houses have been slated for demolition, but the families have appealed. Mohammed Mahmud, the families’ lawyer, stated that their petition would be heard by an Israeli military court on Sunday. (Israel National News)

Nizami appeal filed and Mobarak verdict expected at ICT Bangladesh: Mobarak Hossain, alleged Razakar commander, has his verdict coming out on Monday for his trial. Mobarak stands accused of crimes against humanity during the Liberation War. The prosecution sought the death penalty at the end of trial in May. Motiur Rahman Nizami, Jamaat chief, has appealed his verdict from the ICT to the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court. Nizami was sentenced to death for crimes against humanity during the 1971 Liberation War. Nizami is seeking acquittal from all war crimes charges. (Dhaka Tribune) (for additional information click here)

ICC conduct official visit to Bulgaria: Prosecutor General of the Republic of Bulgaria, Mr Sotir Tsatsarov, invited ICC officials for an official visit to Bulgaria to meet with high-level Bulgarian representatives. ICC officials included President of the ICC, Judge Sang-Hyun Song, ICC Prosecutor, Mrs Fatou Bensouda, and ICC Judge Ekaterina Trendafilova. Bulgarian officials repeated Bulgaria’s commitment to the ICC and international criminal justice. (International Criminal Court)

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21 November 2014 – NEWS ABOUT THE COURTS

ICC Prosecutor considers charges against ISIS fighters: Fatou Bensouda, ICC prosecutor, is considering pressing charges for war crimes and crimes against humanity against Islamic State jihad fighters. Bensouda stated in an interview that many of these fighters are from countries that are party to the Rome Statute, meaning the ICC would be able to press these charges. Both European and Arab nations have aided the ICC with files and documents on potential ISIS recruits. Bensouda has also acknowledged the difficulty and safety concerns that would come with investigating crimes in countries occupied by the Islamic State. (Jurist)

San Marino ratifies ICC crime of aggression amendments: On 14 November 2014, San Marino ratified the 2010 amendments to the Rome Statute concerning the crime of aggression. San Marino is the nineteenth state to ratify the amendment. The ICC will officially be able to issue charges over the crime of aggression once thirty states ratify the amendments. Once thirty states ratify, the amendments will be an active portion of the Rome Statute and give the ICC jurisdiction over the crime. (International Criminal Court)

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