Saturday, October 31, 2009
Friday, October 30, 2009
States Parties to the Rome Statute highlighted the importance of complementarity, cooperation, and universality for the ICC’s efficient functioning. They urged States Parties and UN member states to fulfill their obligations under international law (namely the UN Charter) and fully cooperate with the Security Council. (Read: arrest and surrender Omar Al-Bashir!)
Sudan's Ambassador to the UN brought some fire to the room criticizing states for hiding behind diplomatic phrases. He stated that the ICC poses a threat to the peace and security of societies, especially in Africa, and does not achieve justice. He characterized the upcoming Review Conference* as a tool to settle political accounts in the name of justice. He also criticized Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo, calling him an unprofessional political activist who chases fame and popularity. The delegate called for a stop to the politicization of justice which in his view expresses a new form of legal apartheid where the ICC’s selectivity and double standards in targeting only African leaders encroaches upon the sovereignty of these targeted states.
*The Assembly of States Parties will hold a Review Conference in Kampala, Uganda in May 2010.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
"We were shown photos of the destruction of the AU base in Haskanita, with Abu Garda sitting there listening intently, and told how looted AU cars were seen in his possession the day after the attack."
Read Jan Coebergh's full impressions of the proceedings here.
Update on the Prosecution (as of 10/27/09):
The Prosecution, headed by Ms. Fatou Bensouda, described the attack on Peacekeeprs at MGS Haskanita which took place on September 29, 2007 as a deliberate, intentional, and planned attack that resulted in the death of 12 AMIS personnel. Eight were injured as a result of the attack.
Witnesses for the Prosecution
The Court also received the first out of three Prosecution witnesses, Witness 416. He testified it was impossible to mistake the AMIS camp for anything else due to the difference in uniforms between AMIS personnel, rebels, and civilians. Witness 416 further attested to the pillaging that took place at the sight in the aftermath of the attacks, as well as to the theft of automobiles, personal goods, food and ammunition.
On Thursday, October 22, 2009 a second Prosecution witness appeared in Court. Witness 466 expressed that the AMIS mission (as he understood it) revolved around ensuring the Darfur Peace agreement was held up, as well as monitoring or safeguarding the delivery of humanitarian supplies in Darfur. While he testified the attack on MGS Haskanita took place on September 29, 2007, much of his testimony was held in a private session.
Update on the Defense (as of 10/27/09):
-Abu Garda did not plan, aid, assist, or partake in the attacks
-Mr. Abu Garda was in Libya, not Sudan, and was traveling throughout Africa as part of JEM political meetings prior to the attack. He did not threaten to or plan an attack against MGS Haskanita.
-The evidence of the OTP is unreliable, incomplete and deficient.
For more information about the hearings for Abu Garda and the investigationsin Darfur, check out AMICC's website.
A Confirmation of Charges Hearing is not a trial in itself and does not erode the presumption of innocence of the defendant; rather, it allows the ICC to hear the Prosecution, Defense, and Victims’ perspectives of the crime in order to then judge whether or not the case merits going to trial at the ICC
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
The Obama administration is now determining its ICC policy, in close consultation with the Departments of State and Defense. If it waits too long to engage, it will be too late to ensure meaningful U.S. participation in the Review Conference. Tell President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Secretary of Defense Bill Gates that you think the U.S. should participate in this important ICC meeting next month in The Hague.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
"On 19-30 October 2009, ICC Pre-Trial Chamber I will hold a public hearing to examine the available evidence of war crimes against Darfur rebel leader Bahr Idriss Abu Garda for alleged attacks against African Union peacekeepers at the Haskanita military base in Darfur, Sudan in September 2007. Pre-Trial Chamber I will then have 60 days to decide whether or not there is sufficient evidence to move the case forward to trial."