Tuesday, August 23, 2011

ICC in the Media, Update #41

This past week there has been much media excitement surrounding ICC cases and activities. Earlier this week numerous media sources reported that Gaddafi's son, Saif al-Islam, had been arrested by Libya's rebel forces; however, this later turned out to be untrue. Reports surfaced that the ICC confirmed the arrest, but an ICC representative has subsequently refuted their validity. Despite the mix-up, the ICC Prosecutor took the opportunity to emphasize the importance of carrying out the arrest warrants against the three indicted Libyan leaders. In the midst of calls to action regarding the situation in Syria, Ocampo also issued a statement reminding the international community that the ICC currently lacks jurisdiction to commence investigations in Syria. Without Syria becoming a member state or a UN Security Council referral, the ICC is unable to commence a probe. In other news, preparations for the first set of Kenya confirmation of charges hearings, set for September 1, have begun. Lawyers for prospective defendants Ruto, Kosgey and Sang have made statements that they are largely ready for the hearings. The ICC Prosecutor has also made preparations, and has requested 15 hours for the hearings, which is small compared to the approximately 40 hours that the proceedings will take. The ICC judges are also preparing for the hearings, having requested a timeline from the defense and specified that the proceedings should end by September 12 in order to stay on schedule. This week the Lubanga trial, the ICC's first, finally concluded its closing arguments. The ICC judges will now deliberate and come to a judgement, expected to be released in early 2012. Yesterday Grenada became the newest nation to be welcomed as a state party by the ICC. The Rome Statute entered into force in the nation on August 1, but the President of the Court met with Grenada's Ambassador yesterday to officially welcome it. Today the Senate of the Philippines also approved the Rome Statute, officially concurring with the President that the Philippines should become a state party to the ICC. Photo credit: ABC News.

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