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19 February 2015 – NEWS ABOUT THE COURTS

ICT Bangladesh sentences former Jamaat leader to death:  Abdus Subhan is now the ninth leader from the Jamaat-e-Islami party to be convicted by the tribunal for war crimes.  Subhan has been sentenced to death for the killing of 400 villagers in Northern Bangladesh during the 1971 Bangladesh war for independence.

Amnesty concerned about ongoing abuse in Ukraine: Evidence has surfaced showing pro-Russian separatists allegedly subjecting detained Ukrainian soldiers to various kinds of abuse.  Such abuse would be considered a war crime.  Amnesty International is in the process of documenting additional accounts of misconduct by both sides of the conflict and urges both parties to treat detainees humanely.

France to re-examine case of former Argentine officer accused of war crimes:  Mario Sandoval is an Argentinian ex-police officer accused of committing crimes against humanity during the country’s “dirty war.”  Argentina has been asking for his extradition since 2012.  France’s highest court struck down a decision to pursue the extradition, however, Argentinian officials are hopeful the extradition may still occur.

 

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12 February 2015 – NEWS ABOUT THE COURT

Sri Lanka requests delay on UN war crimes report: Sri Lankan officials have asked the UN for a delay in the releasing of the report investigating the atrocities of the war between the Tamil Tigers and government forces. A delay in the report’s release until August should give enough time for internal mechanisms to be established. UN officials said the timetable for the report’s release has not been changed as of it. (For additional information on this topic, please click here.) (BBC, Reuters)

UN Libya Mission concerned over deteriorating political, human rights situation: The UN has released a report lamenting the conditions in Libya. The report highlights the vulnerable situation of migrants in Libya as well as those behind bars with no foreseeable way to challenge their incarceration. There is hope that once the State institutions are strong enough, Libya will stabilize and the fact finding and reconciliation commission will be able to operate more effectively. (For additional information on this topic, please click here.) (UN, Jurist)

HRW Report details mass Sudan rapes last October: According to HRW, Sudanese army forces raped more than 200 women and girls in an organized attack on the north Darfur town of Tabit in October 2014.   The UN and AU have been urged to take aggressive steps to stop any further abuses from occurring. HRW has also urged the ICC to further investigate Darfur and push for more involvement.  (For additional information on this topic, please click here.) (HRW, Reuters)

ECOWAS Court highlights importance of regional human rights mechanism:  The President of West Africa’s Community Court has called on the community and the ECOWAS Commission for the development of an instrument that will ensure the human rights of the 300 million citizens of West Africa. The new ECOWAS Court President has also called for more enforcement in regards to the court’s authority in order to strengthen its presence. (All Africa)

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5 February 2015 – NEWS ABOUT THE COURTS

Chui Acquittal Appeal Decision Expected 24 February: Former leader of National Integrationist Front, Mathieu Ngudjolo, was originally charged with various counts of crimes against humanity and war crimes on 18 December 2012.  On 21 December 2012, Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui was released from custody. On 20 December 2012, the Office of the Prosecutor appealed the verdict. The Appeals Chamber of the ICC will deliver its verdict in regards to the appeal on the 24 February 2015. (ICC).

Libya Parliament Cancels Political Isolation Law: Libyan parliament members passed a law in 2013 blacking Gaddafi-era officials from taking part in politics.  However, this law was passed amid extraneous pressures being applied to law makers in Tripoli by armed groups.  The parliament has effectively revoked the law but concerns over whether the Tobruk-based legislature will accept its revocation remain at the forefront.  (BBC).

UN Urges Kosovo to Establish Special Court for War Crimes: Secretary General Ban Ki-moon lauded the work of the United Nations Interim Administrative Mission in Kosovo, but remains persistent in his desire establish a special court to try cases arising from the findings of the European Union Special Investigative Task Force.  (b92).

UN Human Rights Council Names New Head of Gaza Inquiry: The United Nations Human Rights Council has formed an inquiry to investigate the possible occurrence of war crimes which took place during the summer’s Gaza conflict. The former chairman, William Schabas, resigned among accusations of bias.  He has been replaced with Mary McGowan Davis, a former justice of the New York Supreme Court. (NYTimes).

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29 January 2015 – NEWS ABOUT THE COURTS

New Sri Lanka President sends delegate to UN to discuss war crimes investigation:  A political change in Sri Lankan politics has opened the doors to UN influence.  The newly formed government is planning to investigate accusations of human rights of abuses which allegedly took place amid its civil war.  Government officials plan to begin the investigation at a local level before making the decision to bring in foreign experts. (Reuters).

Rights groups call for investigations into killings, war crimes in Libya:  Amnesty International has called on the UN to implement sanctions and conduct investigations in response to the possible commission of war crimes in Libya.  The UN is currently negotiating with some of Libya’s factions in order to form a unity government in hopes of returning stability back to the nation.  (Reuters).

LRA Commander appears at ICC; Uganda unlikely to challenge admissibility:  Dominic Ongwen has come before the ICC charged with seven counts of crimes against humanity.  As a former member of the LRA, Ongwen was alledgedly involved in various accounts of murder and enslavement.  Though a fierce critic of the ICC, Uganda does not plan to challenge the admissibility of the case being heard at the ICC because the  LRA has become a regional problem. (For additional information on this topic, please click here.) (BBC, Bloomberg)

ICTY transfers documents in first phases of transition to court residual mechanism:  The ICTY has transferred its records pertaining to the cases of Duško Tadić, Sefer Halilović and to the contempt of court case against Milan Vujin to the MICT.  The MICT was established in 2010 and tasked with the responsibility of preserving the legacy of the ICTY and the Rwanda Tribunal.  (For additional information on this topic, please click here.) (ICTY, The Hague)

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4 November 2014 – NEWS ABOUT THE COURTS

ECCC Chambers orders Defence to appear November 17:  Defence teams currently boycotting hearings in Case 002/02 have been ordered to appear November 17 before the ECCC.  Accordingly, both teams have been threatened with counsel substitution if the boycott continues. The defence teams argue that more time for trial preparation is needed but such arguments have been largely brushed aside by the ECCC.  (Phnom Penh Post).

STL Judge postpones contempt hearing for news editor al-Khayyat:  Khayyat and its parent company have been accused of contempt and obstruction of justice in connection with the disclosure of personal details of secret witnesses in the Hariri case.  A delay in the hearing has come in response to a request from the defense sufficient time to investigate.  Once trial begins, both sides expect a speedy conclusion.  (Daily Star).

ICC President appeals for widespread adoption of Rome Statute:  On 30 October 2014, Judge Sang-Hyun Song in his capacity as President of the ICC plead his case for the adoption of the Rome Statute by States while in front of the UN General Assembly.  Judge Song highlighted the similarities shared between the ICC and the UN.  (The Hague).

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13 October 2014 – NEWS ABOUT THE COURTS

UN Report details ongoing human rights abuses by M23: In a report published 9 October 2014, the Joint Office of the UN for Human Rights in the DRC (JHRO) has founds that during a time when M23 had effective control of parts of North Kivu, serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law – which could constitute international crimes as well as crimes under the Penal Code Congolese – were committed by the group. The UN applauds the Congolese response in seeking justice against any wrongdoers. (UN News).

ICC sets date for Ntaganda Case: Bosco Ntaganda, former alleged Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Force Patriotiques pour la Libération du Congo [Patriotic Force for the Liberation of Congo] (FPLC), is accused of 13 counts of war crimes. On 9 October 2014, Trial Chamber VI of the International Criminal Court (ICC) scheduled the opening of the trial in the case The Prosecutor v. Bosco Ntaganda on 2 June 2015. (ICC).

HRW Report outlines crimes against Yezidi women in Iraq: HRW has provided a detailed account of the alledged atrocities occurring to Yezidi men, women and children at the hands of the Islamic State (IS) fighters in Iraq. HRW states that forced marriages, abductions, sexual slavery and other international crimes have been and continue to occur. HRW recommends that the UN investigate and that the Iraqi government join the ICC. (HRW).

Kenyatta appears at ICC for status conference: On 8 October 2014, Kenyan President Kenyatta appeared before the ICC for a status conference. He is the first serving head of state to come before the Hague. Mr. Kenyatta is accused of orchestrating post-election violence during 2007. In response to these accusations, Mr Kenyatta says the charges against him are politically motivated and insists that the case should be thrown out. (BBC).

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15 September 2014 – NEWS ABOUT THE COURTS

ICC issues an arrest warrant against Sudanese accused Banda: On 11 September 2014, the ICC issued an arrest warrant against Abdallah Banda Abakaer. Banda had previously been under a summons of the court until it decided that an arrest warrant was necessary to ensure the accused’s presence. Banda faces three charges of war crimes allegedly committed in September 2007 against AU Peacekeeping Mission in Sudan. (ICC).

Russell Tribunal condemns actions of Obama and Poroshenko in Ukraine: The informal Russell Tribunal trial, which met in Venice to hear evidence of war crimes committed by the West has condemned the actions of President Poroshenki and President Barack Obama. Allegations of military operations conducted by the West in the Donetsk region, which involved the destruction of schools and hospitals, were presented to the Tribunal. The Tribunal’s ruling wil be sent to the US Secretariat, the EU, and the ICC.  (For additional information about this topic, please click here.) (Press, RT).

FIDH asks ICC to investigate crimes in Mexico: The ICC has been charged with the task of investigating a series of alleged violations of human rights committed between 2006 and 2012 in Baja California at the hands of Mexican soldiers. The court rejected a 2011 request by Mexican activists but at this point an investigation still remains a possibility. (Fox).

Croatian prosecutor and MICT sign memorandum on future prosecutions: Croatia’s Chief Prosecutor and prosecutor for the MICT, successor of the ICTY, have signed a memorandum of understanding aimed at more efficiently prosecuting persons charged with the alleged commission of violating international human rights law. The ICTY exit strategy will continue as necessary, allowing for MICT to effectively maintain its caseload in the most efficient manner. (Google News).

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