Thursday, February 24, 2011

ICC in the Media, Update #22

This week the international community has remained focused on events in the middle east, particularly in Libya. In response to numerous requests, including by Libya's deputy ambassador at the U.N., ICC Prosecutor said on Wednesday that the ICC would not prosecute reported crimes against humanity in Libya unless referred by the U.N. Security Council or Libya itself. In the Kenya post-election violence case four men charged with killing nine people during the 2008 violence have reportedly requested to have their cases transferred to the ICC. The application was rejected by a Kenyan high court, but the accused have contacted the ICC's Office of the Prosecutor regarding the matter. The ICC judges recently rejected named potential perpetrator Sang's application to bar the issuance of summons or arrest warrants. The judges warned against suspects filing duplicitous applications, and did not review the merits of Sang's applications having recently rejected similar applications from suspects Ruto and Ali. Although the suspects are still fighting to have the ICC cases deferred, they have begun selecting top international lawyers to represent them at trial. We reported last week that President Kibaki had controversially selected individuals for top judicial positions without consulting with Prime Minister Odinga. The United States State department spokesperson made a statement on Sunday urging Kenya to resolve its judicial appointment controversy. After a week of debate over the move Kibaki announced on Tuesday that he would withdraw his nominations and allow the Judicial Service Commission to determine who will fill the positions. This move follows a ruling by the Nairobi High Court that the action was unconstitutional.

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