Archive for category ICC

12 May 2015 – NEWS ABOUT THE COURTS

ICC’s first acquitted accused deported to DRC: Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui, formerly accused of war crimes, was deported back to the Democratic Republic of the Congo on Monday. Chui was acquitted by the ICC and filed for asylum in the Netherlands for fear of safety in the DRC.  Dutch authorities dismissed his application and sent him back to the DRC. Géraldine Mattioli-Zeltner, international justice advocacy director at Human Rights Watch, stated that HRW is calling on the DRC authorities to ensure Chui’s safety and security in the DRC. HRW is also calling upon dutch authorities and the ICC to monitor the situation. (Expatica, Human Rights Watch) (for additional information click here)

HRW calls for ICC investigation into on-going crimes in Libya: Human Rights Watch urged the United Nations Security Council to look at ICC prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda’s briefing on Libya. HRW called for an investigation into the ongoing crimes happening in Libya. HRW states that Libyan authorities have not responded properly to ongoing situation. They have not investigated or prosecuted those responsible for crimes. HRW is looking to the ICC to properly investigate these crimes. (Human Rights Watch)

ECCC victim representation faces funding cuts: Lawyers at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia have seen recent cuts in their salaries. Victim representation has seen major funding cuts due to  donor shortages. Attorneys from the Cambodian Defenders Project (CDP) and Legal Aid to Cambodia (LAC) stated that these cuts may dictate whether or not they continue representation of victims in the court. (Phnom Penh Post)

ICT Bangladesh issues 11 arrest warrants: ICT Bangladesh issued 11 arrest warrants for alleged Razakars of Jessore, for war crimes committed during the Liberation War in 1971. “The suspects are Ibrahim Hossain, Billal Hossain, Sheikh Majibur Rahman, Abdul Aziz Sardar, Aziz Sarder, Kazi Oahidul Islam, Lutfar Moral, Abdul Khaleq Moral, Akram Hossain, Ozehar Moral, and Mushiar Rahman.” (The Daily Star)

African Commission for HR’s 56th session concludes: The 56th Ordinary Session on Human and Peoples’ Rights concluded with resolutions that support “the strife against prevalence of human rights violations in Africa.” Commissioner Mute of the African Commission stated that the Commission passed resolutions that condemned xenophobic attacks in South Africa, urged Kenyan human rights, and rehabilitation rights for torture victims. (All Africa)

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11 May 2015 – NEWS ABOUT THE COURTS

Sri Lanka to begin domestic war crimes investigation in September: A domestic accountability mechanism will be in place in Sri Lanka by September 2015 to investigate alleged war crimes committed during the last phase of the country’s 26-year civil war; said Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera. The Foreign Minister also said the mechanism will involve “foreign technical expertise” and address accountability and reconciliation.  The announcement of the mechanism comes days after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry visited Sri Lanka and urged the government to cooperate with the U.N. and conduct a credible “investigation that meets international standards.”  (For additional information on this topic, please click here and here) (News.LK, The Daily Star, The Hindu).

ICT Bangladesh charges 5 Kishoreganj war crimes suspects: Prosecutors at the International Crimes Tribunal in Bangladesh have brought charges against 5 Kishoreganj suspects for war crimes.  Specifically, the 5 are suspected of mass killing, torture, looting and confinement during Bangladesh’s 1971 Liberation War. The Tribunal expects to decide by 13 May 2015 on whether to accept the charges. (The Daily Star).

Hadzic reportedly sent back to ICTY, The Hague: Unofficial sources are reporting that former President of the Republic of Serbian Krajina, Goran Hadzic, has been sent back to the ICTY detention center. Hadzic, who was granted provisional release by the ICTY last month, arrived in Serbia on 16 April 2015 to seek medical care for brain cancer. Hadzic faces charges at the ICTY for crimes against humanity and violation of the laws and customs of war committed during the war in Croatia in the early 1990s.  (Dalje.com).

ICC Prosecutor Bensouda expresses concern at Burundi pre-election violence: ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda is concerned that violence may escalate leading up to the 26 May and 26 June 2015, legislative and presidential elections in Burundi.  Bensouda warned that the Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC will open investigations and hold accountable those committing crimes during the elections that fall within the jurisdiction of the Court. Bensouda noted this also applies to political leaders in Burundi who “are equally responsible for ensuring the peaceful conduct of elections and that their supporters refrain from violence—before, during and after the elections. (ICC).

Russia seeks extradition of Nazi war crimes suspect in Quebec: Russian officials have requested that Canada extradite Vladimir Katriuk, a 93-year-old Quebec man accused of Nazi war crimes. A Russian Investigative Committee found that Katriuk “volunteered to serve in the SS battalion 118 and was personally involved in a genocidal massacre of the (Belorussian) village of Khatyn, organized by this Nazi formation on March 23, 1943.”  Katriuk has been living in Canada since 1950.  (The Toronto Sun).

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7 May 2015 – NEWS ABOUT THE COURTS

Ivory Coast reiterates plans to pay victims of PEV

Ivory Coast Government Authorities announced that they would pay victims of the 2010-2011 post-election violence, following an announcement by President Alassane Ouattara in December of the victims’ reparations fund. To date, approximately 74,000 victims have registered with the fund, set to begin payments in July of this year and promote reconciliation. A grace period was also announced, to allow additional victims to register and be compensated for losses during the period following Laurent Gbagbo’s refusal to acknowledge Presidential Defeat. Nearly 3,000 people were killed between 2010 and 2011. (BBC News)

Trial of Ivory Coast’s Gbagbo and Blé Goudé to start in November

The International Criminal Court (ICC) announced Thursday that it would commence the trial of former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé on 10 November 2015. Trial Chamber I indicated that the November start date was to accommodate Prosecution evidence disclosures, expected to continue through June 2015, and additional time for Defense preparation activities. (ICC Press Release)

International monitoring groups cite civilian, aid worker attacks in Yemen

Multiple watch groups, including the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and Human Rights Watch (HRW) said this week that escalating violence in the Yemeni city of Aden resulted in “scores” of deaths among civilians and aid workers. An estimated 1,400 people have been killed and more than 300,000 have left for neighboring areas. Internally displaced individuals remain vulnerable from lack of infrastructure including medical and other assistance. Human Rights Watch specifically cited incidents of Pro-Houthi forces holding aid workers hostage, which it indicated were tantamount to war crimes. (For Human Rights Watch coverage, please click here) (HRW, UN News Centre)

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4 May 2015 – NEWS ABOUT THE COURTS

Bensouda rejects allegations of bias and weighs investigation against both Israel and Palestine: ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has rejected claims by the Israeli government that the Court is unfairly targeting Israel and will launch a bias investigation into war crimes committed during the 50-day Gaza war last summer.  Bensouda said that any ICC investigation would be “unbiased” and the Court would consider evidence against Israel “independently and impartially without fear or favour.”  The Chief Prosecutor is also weighing whether to open a war crimes investigation into Palestinian, saying “We will of course look into the alleged crimes committed by all sides to the conflict.” (For additional information on this topic, please click here) (Al Bawaba, Al Arabiya News).

Lawyers for the Muslim Brotherhood and FJP make oral submissions for the African Commission: On Saturday, 2 May 2015, lawyers for the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party made oral submissions in a private hearing to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights relating to Egypt’s imposition of mass death sentences.  The Commission will now consider the oral submissions and present findings and recommendations to the African Union authorities.  Previously, the Commission has issued Provisional Measures against Egypt for use of the death penalty which have gone largely ignored despite the country being a signatory to the African Charter that prohibits such sentence. (For additional information on this topic, please click here) (Middle East Monitor, Middle East Eye).

DRC grants limited amnesty to over 300 rebels: The Democratic Republic of Congo granted amnesty to some 375 ex-M23 rebels for insurgent acts, acts of war and political offences committed during the 18-month war that ended in 2013. The amnesty does not cover such acts as crimes against humanity, war crimes, terrorism or torture.  More than 1,300 rebels fled to Uganda and Rwanda after their movement was defeated by government forces and UN peacekeepers. Many claimed the government of DRC was not doing enough to protect the ex-rebels that returned. (Yahoo).

ECCC Prosecutor rejects evidence from Nuon Chea’s defense: Dale Lysak, a senior assistant prosecutor at the ECCC, described claims by Nuon Chea’s defense team that evidence presented by the prosecution was forged as “a crazy conspiracy theory.” Specifically, the evidence related to the Tram Kaka and Kraing Ta Chan security centers where the prosecution said 99 percent of prisoners were killed.  The defense, however, is arguing some people were taken to the security centers for re-education sessions, proof the Khmer Rouge was not “universally brutal.”  (The Cambodia Daily).

ICC compliant made over King Zwelithini hate speech: A Nigerian human rights group has filed a complaint in the ICC against Zulu King Zwelithini for hate speech after the King told a gathering last month that “foreigners should pack their bags and go home.”  Zwelithini’s remarks caused several attacks in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng killing at least seven and displacing thousands.  A spokesman for the monarch said the human rights group “had every right to complain” and the monarch “will only respond once we have received a call from the International Criminal Court.”  (Mail & Guardian).

ICC Ruto / Sang case to resume 26 May: Following a delay in proceedings due to an uncooperative prosecution witness, the ICC case against Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto and radio journalist Joshua Sang is expected to resume 26 May 2015.  ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said the witness “has testimony that is necessary for the determination of the truth” but went into hiding after a local Dutch court issued an order requiring the witness to appear in the case at the ICC. The prosecution has to produce the witness on 26 May and conclude its case against the accused. (All Africa).

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23 April 2015 – NEWS ABOUT THE COURTS

ICC Trial Chamber delays start date for Ntaganda Case 

Trial Chamber VI of the International Criminal Court (ICC) announced Wednesday that the start of the Prosecutor v. Bosco Ntaganda will be the second or third week of July, rather than 2 June 2015. Opening statements from the prosecution are expected in August. This decision follows efforts by defense counsel to push the trial to November and support from prosecution and victims’ representatives to retain the original trial date. The Presidency of the ICC is currently considering an application from the Trial Chamber to hold opening statements in Bunia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and consequentially the Registry requested approximately one month to facilitate this effort. Mr. Ntaganda is charged with thirteen counts of war crimes and five counts of crimes against humanity, for his involvement in crimes committed in Ituri, DRC between 2002 and 2003.

ICTR hears final arguments in Butare Case, its final appeal

On Wednesday, April 22, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) heard final appeals directly from several accused of crimes committed in the Butare Region. Following submissions by the Prosecution, the accused including Pauline Nyiramasuhuko were given opportunity to speak to the Court before judges consider and make their decision later this year. The Case marks the final appeal for the ICTR. (For additional information, please click here)

Sudan President al-Bashir cancels international travel following elections

Sudanese President and ICC Indictee Omar al-Bashir recently declined to travel to Indonesia for the Asian-African Summit, following election obligations and international calls for his arrest. The Sudanese Foreign Affairs Minister will replace him, and a spokesman said the decision was made so al-Bashir could “monitor post-election operations.” The International Criminal Court issued a first arrest warrant against al-Bashir in 2009 and again in 2010, on charges of crimes against humanity, war crimes, and genocide.

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17 April 2015 – NEWS ABOUT THE COURTS

STL begins contempt trial against Lebanese journalist and her TV station: Lebanese journalist, Karma Khayat, and her al-Jadeed TV station stand accused of obstruction of justice for the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Khayat and the TV station both deny identifying witnesses or compromising the case against Hariri’s alleged killers. Khayat stated that that this is an attempt to silence the media when journalists in Lebanon have the same rights as those in the West. Khayat also stated that the list she published was redacted without identifying statements and a full list was published later by someone else. Prosecutor Kenneth Scott stated “If witnesses are too frightened to come to this tribunal, then this tribunal is finished.” (BBC, The Guardian, Daily Star) (for additional information click here and here)

Acquitted Ngudjolo Chui seeks asylum in Switzerland: Ngudjolo Chui, who was acquitted by the ICC, is now applying for asylum in Switzerland.  Chui is applying for asylum for fear of being deported from the Netherlands back to Kinshasa. After being acquitted by the ICC Trial Chamber and having the acquittal affirmed by the ICC Appeals Chamber, Chui was arrested by Dutch authorities immediately after the trial as he was leaving the courtroom. The Dutch authorities brought him straight to the airport to be deported back to the DRC and was forced onto a Kenya Airways passenger plane to Kinshasa. Chui had to assert certain things during his defense that now put his life at risk if he goes back to the DRC. Chui had asserted that in asylum applications to the Dutch authorities after his Trial Chamber acquittal.  As the plane was about to takeoff, an emergency order from a Dutch immigration judge to hear asylum arguments forced the plane to return to the terminal. Since then, Chui has been at the detention unit at the Schiphol Airport trying to sort out immigration issues and apply for a humanitarian visa. (Letemps)

UNSC hears accounts of chemical weapons use in Syria: The United Nations Security Council heard first-hand accounts of chemical weapons used in Syria on Thursday. Syrian doctor, Saher Sahloul, reported the use of chlorine gas in Idlib that left six dead. Qusai Zakarya, a victim of an attack in Ghouta in August of 2013 was also present. The UNSC considered whether action was needed to stop the attacks. Organizations like Human Rights Watch called for investigations into these attacks and alleged that they were war crimes. (News24)

Hadzic arrives in Serbia after ICTY grants provisional release: The International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia (ICTY) granted a provisional release to former Croatian Serb rebel leader Goran Hadzic for cancer treatment on 13 April 2015. Hadzic stands accused of 14 alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity during the 1991-95 war in Croatia. Hadzic arrived in the Serbian capital on 16 April 2015 and was escorted by police to Novi Sad, where he will receive his cancer treatment. (Turkish Weekly)

US Senator indicates move to introduce CAH provision in US law: U.S. Senator Dick Durbin announced during his speech at Northwestern University School of Law that he intends to reintroduce Crimes Against Humanity legislation in Congress. Durbin stated a US law needs to be in place against crimes against humanity. (International Criminal Justice Today)

 

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14 April 2015 – NEWS ABOUT THE COURTS

10 former Bosnian Serb soldiers arrested in Bosnia over crimes from 1990s conflict: The 10 former Bosnian Serb soldiers arrested in December have been charged with war crimes that occurred during the 1990s Balkans conflict. The December arrests stemmed from a joint effort of Bosnia and Serbia to look into these matters. Five former Bosnian Serb soldiers were arrested in December by Serbia and the ten now charged with war crimes were arrested by Bosnia. (UT San DiegoABC News) (for additional information click here)

Appeals proceedings in ICTR Butare case to start: On Tuesday 21 April 2015, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) will start appeals proceedings for its last case. The case includes six members of Butare including former Family Affairs Minister Pauline Nyiramasuhuko. Nyiramasuhuko was sentenced to life in prison by the trial court for crimes against humanity in 2011. According to ICTR, judgement from the appeal will not be rendered earlier than August. This will mark the 14th year of this case and the 16th year that Nyiramasuhuko has been in preventive detention. (Hirondelle News)

Hadzic granted provisional release by ICTY for health issues:  The International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia (ICTY) has granted a provisional release to former Croatian Serb rebel leader Goran Hadzic until May. Hadzic stands accused of 14 alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity during the 1991-95 war in Croatia. Hadzic was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in November and will receive radio and chemotherapy treatment. His request for a temporary release was initially denied by trial judge, but overturned on appeal for humanitarian reasons. (Expatica, InSerbia News) (for additional information click here)

AG calls Bensouda’s claim of Kenya’s possible non-cooperation defamatory: ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda stands accused for defamation of Kenya by Attorney General Githu Muigai. Muigai states that Bensouda’s allegations that the Kenyan government refuses to cooperate with the court is defamatory. The prosecutor is attempting to get Kenya referred to the Assembly of State Parties and sanctioned. (All Africa News)

Bangladeshi Chairman of the Law Commission withdraws from ICC judge election: Bangladeshi Chairman of the Law Commission, ABM Khairul Haque, has withdrawn from the ICC judge election. Haque stated that he withdrew due to family concerns as his mother is elderly and ill. Haque also stated that this situation would not allow him to contribute six years to the ICC. (BDNews 24)

NGO group calls on Equitorial Guinea human rights violations to be investigated: Nongovernmental organizations sent a letter to the Community of Portuguese Language Countries on 31 March to assess the human rights situations in Equatorial Guinea and recommend reform. Human Rights Watch stated that an investigation should be launched into the human rights violation in Equatorial Guinea. According to Human Rights Watch freedom of speech, association, and assembly are limited in the country. (Human Rights Watch)

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