Monday, March 05, 2012

ICC In the Media, Update #61

The past several weeks the media has picked up a number of International Criminal Court stories. Perhaps of most importance, last week the ICC announced that its judges will release their verdict for Thomas Lubanga's trial on March 14, 2012. This will be the first judgment rendered by the Court since its creation in 2002. The case is also the first to focus on the use of child soldiers, and is expected to set significant legal precedents for ICC cases to come. Last week the ICC also issued a warrant for arrest for Sudan's defense minister Abdelrahim Mohamed Hussein for seven counts of crimes against humanity and six counts of war crimes. On Sunday allegedly President Bashir of Sudan, also wanted by the ICC, dismissed the new warrant and expressed his intention not to hand over Hussein to the Court.
Reportedly the ICC judges have also approved an expansion of the Office of the Prosecutor's investigation in the Ivory Coast. The Prosecutor will now be free to investigate incidents dating back to 2002. This decision now encompasses numerous alleged incidents of rebel and government violence in the country throughout the past decade. In other news, reportedly the lawyer for Uhuru Kenyatta, Steven Kay, has accused the ICC of "fixing" cases. Commentators have warned that this move may put Kay in danger of being held in contempt of court. Also in the Kenya case this week, after a former witness reportedly recanted his testimony in a YouTube video, the Office of the Prosecutor released a statement that any claims of witness tampering would be fully investigated. In the Jean-Pierre Bemba trial, reportedly Bemba's lead counsel Nkwebe Liriss has passed away after a struggle with a long illness. Reportedly other lawyers have taken over Liriss' duties in his absence. Photo credits: Telegraph UK, CNN.

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