Monday, November 14, 2011

ICC in the Media, Update #51

This week media coverage of that ICC has covered a wide range of the Court's activities. Last week ICC Prosecutor Ocampo stated that investigations into rebel-side activities in Libya may include an impartial and independent investigation into NATO's involvement. Reportedly this has spurred concern in the organization, who is undertaking a thorough internal investigation into the matter. NATO has maintained that its involvement in the conflict was in accordance with the U.N. Security Council resolution authorizing use of force. Also in the Libya investigation, the President of Niger confirmed on Friday that he has granted Gaddafi's son Saadi asylum in the country, but does not know where Saif, the son currently wanted by the ICC, is currently hiding. The Prosecutor is also contemplating whether to pursue charges of mass rape against Libya's former Chief of Intelligence after discovering evidence that suggests he instructed soldiers to commit rape. In the Kenya case the ICC Appeals Chamber has asked the Pre-Trial Chamber to review its judgment dismissing the Prosecutor's request that defense council Essal Faal be dropped from suspect Muthaura's legal team. Faal worked in the ICC's Office of the Prosecutor until earlier this year. Ocampo contended that his work at the ICC made him privy to confidential information. The Pre-Trial will now review this matter under the standard imposed by the Appeals Chamber.
Recently reports have surfaced in the Kenya case of witnesses' families being threatened with physical harm and their homes being raided. A lawyer for the defense has been warned for disclosing confidential information that could help identify several Prosecution witnesses. This violation has not been linked to the reports of witness intimidation. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo case, Ocampo has warned political actors that violence in the upcoming elections "cannot be tolerated" and is monitoring the situation closely. In the case against President Bashir of Sudan, Malawi complied with the November 11 deadline and submitted to the ICC a justification for its failure to arrest Bashir during his visit last month. It said that its failure was based on compliance with an African Union resolution forbidding arrest of heads of state from non-member states. In other news, Human Rights Watch released a report on Friday concluding that Syrian government forces have carried out crimes against humanity against opposers to President Assad in the province of Homs. In the ongoing Bemba trial, a shortage of interpreters temporarily stalled the hearing of witness testimony last week. The trial is scheduled to begin again today. Photo credits: Capital FM and Reuters UK.

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