Friday, November 04, 2011

ICC in the Media, Update #50

This week the International Criminal Court has remained in the media spotlight with respect to the situation in Libya. As we reported last week, both Gaddafi's son and chief of intelligence remain at large. The Office of the Prosecutor is reportedly working to secure the surrender of both parties to the Court, and is investigating whether Abdullah al-Senussi may have been responsible for ordering mass rapes. Prosecutor Ocampo has also stated that his office is in indirect talks with Saif al-Islam regarding possibly turning himself in, but that Saif maintains his innocence. Reportedly all communications have been performed via intermediaries. The Prosecutor has said that Siaf's whereabouts remains unknown, but they have received reports of offers from a mercenary group to take Saif to Zimbabwe.
Earlier this week in a statement to the United Nations Security Council the ICC Prosecutor said that his office has launched a probe into alleged crimes committed by Libya's National Transitional Council as part of an attempt to investigate both sides of the dispute. The investigation may also include actions taken by NATO after reports of mistreatment of African mercenaries and workers by NTC and NATO forces. In the Kenya cases, an ICC spokesperson said the final submissions for the second set of suspects is due on November 21, 2012, after which the judges will have 60 days to debate whether the cases will proceed. This timeline suggests that the judges will announce their decision around the third week in January. Earlier this week Kenya and Somalia's Prime Ministers announced that they will work together to seek an ICC probe into potential crimes against humanity perpetrated by the Al Shabaab militia as soon as possible. The ICC has not yet commented on this possibility. As we discussed several weeks ago, the ICC requested that Malawi submit a report to the ICC regarding its hosting of President Bashir in violation of its obligations under the Rome Statute. Reportedly Malawi has drafted a response explaining its failure to arrest President Bashir in time for the November 11 deadline, despite its initial apparent unwillingness to explain its actions. In other news, witness testimony in the Jean-Pierre Bemba trial continues. This week a witness was unable to continue his testimony resulting in trial adjournment, and another witness conceded to inconsistencies in his testimony during cross-examination, but stood by his initial statements to prosecutors in 2008. The prosecution has eight more witnesses scheduled to to testify in the trial. Photo credit: The Telegraph.

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