A recent report published by the AU Panel of Eminent African Personalities chaired by former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan found that a majority of Kenyans continue to support ICC participation in post-election violence proceedings. In other news the Bemba trial continues at the ICC. Last week a prosecution witness testified that Bemba's soldiers were the only soldiers present in the pillaged towns. However, this week the trial has been temporarily stalled due to the illness of a witness. Finally, the nomination period for electing six new judges and a prosecutor at the ICC is set to begin next month sparking speculation about the identities of the candidates. Photo credit: Capital FM.
Monday, May 30, 2011
This week the media attention shifted from Libya back to Kenya. On Sunday ICC Prosecutor Ocampo made a statement that members of Kenya's government "are misrepresenting ICC efforts to do justice for the victims as an attack against Kenyan sovereignty" as part of a political campaign. Discussions between the ICC and Kenyan government have begun over the government's apparent shift in position since the suspects were named late last year. The focus of the discussions reportedly is determining whether the government is"protecting witnesses or protecting the suspects from investigation." Kenya's Justice Minister Kilonzo dismissed the ICC's accusations as unfounded saying that Kenya continues to cooperate with the Court. Regardless, representatives of the ICC travelled to Kenya today to further discuss Kenya's committment to the ICC and issues of witness protection.
Thursday, May 19, 2011
This past week the media has fixated on the ICC's involvement in Libya. On Monday ICC Prosecutor Ocampo appeared before ICC judges requesting the issuance of arrest warrants against Muammar Abu Minya Gaddafi, Saif Al Islam Gaddafi (Gaddafi's son) and Abdullah Al Sanousi (the Head of the Intelligence of Libya) for crimes against humanity committed in Libya. Ocampo apparently based his applications on "direct evidence" that the three held meetings to plan the crimes and took various roles in executing them. The judges are currently considering the application which they have the ability to grant, deny or request more information from the prosecution. Many members of the international community have heralded this step as one of "great importance" for both Libya and the fight against impunity for perpetrators of atrocity crimes. Reportedly Ocampo said that if arrest warrants are issued it will be up to Libyans to make arrests. In other news the President of the Ivory Coast has asked the ICC to investigate the "most serious crimes" committed after the country's disputed election last November that lead to a bloody political standoff. On May 3, 2011 Ocampo said the Office of the Prosecutor was preparing to launch a formal investigation into the tragic events. The Kenya post-election violence pre-trial proceedings continue with suspects Ruto and Sang demanding that Ocampo be reprimanded for an application he filed. The court has not yet responded to the suspects' latest request. Photo credit: The L.A. Times.
Friday, May 06, 2011
This past week there have been several significant events in the international arena. On Wednesday ICC Prosecutor Ocampo announced that he will be pursuing arrest warrants against the 3 Libyans that bear the "greatest criminal responsibility" for crimes perpetrated by Gadhafi's forces. The charges are said to include crimes against humanity, with "relevant information" on war crimes as well. Ocampo has said that he will release the names of the accused when he presents his case to the ICC judges. Investigations into possible atrocity crimes on the rebel side of the conflict reportedly remain ongoing. UN Secretary Ban Ki-Moon made a statement on Wednesday saying that the UN supports the recent efforts of the ICC to bring those responsible for the tragedy in Libya to justice. The situation in Kenya's pre-trial proceedings continue at the Hague with the Pre-Trial Chamber's rejection of Ocampo's appeal application over evidence disclosure. The court ruled that the prosecution must disclose to the defense its evidence against the suspects. Named defendants Ruto and Sang requested on Tuesday that Ocampo include in the evidence names of all the "foot soldiers" in the crimes they allegedly committed. Ocampo has not yet publicly responded to the request. Photo credit: Daily Nation.