Monday, June 18, 2012

ICC in the Media, Update #65

Several exciting ICC-related events have taken place recently that have drawn the media's attention. As we reported earlier, Fatou Bensouda was recently sworn in as the International Criminal Court's new prosecutor. She is both the first African and first woman to hold the post. In the Libya case, four ICC staffers part of an official mission to meet Saif al-Islam Gaddafi have been detained in Libya. Reportedly one of the four, lawyer Melinda Taylor, was carrying documents relating to Libyan national security, as well as a camera.
The ICC has released a statement expressing hope that the individuals will soon be released, and the United Nations Security Council has expressed concern about the situation and urged Libyan authorities to immediately release the ICC staff members. In addition, President Judge Sang-Hyan Song of the ICC has released a statement demanding the immediate release of the four staff members.  Reportedly the four have been held under house arrest until Taylor answers the questions of the Libyan authorities. In the Ivory Coast situation, a hearing against Gbagbo originally scheduled for this week has been rescheduled for August 13 to provide the defense with more time to prepare their case.
In other news, the prosecutor has asked the judges for a sentence of 30 years for Thomas Lubanga, who was recently found guilty by the Court. The judges have yet to set a sentencing date for Lubanga. In the Kenya case, two of the four suspects have reportedly requested that the ICC schedule their trials for as soon as possible. Uhuru Kenyatta, a 2013 election presidential hopeful, and Francis Muthaura reportedly are the two requesting speedy trials. The ICC is scheduled to set the trial dates on July 13, 2012. In Malawi, last week Malawian authorities reportedly have said it won't host the African Union Summit because it does not want to host Omar al-Bashir, President of Sudan and indictee of the ICC. Photo credits: BBC, Voice of America, AFP

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