Tuesday, July 05, 2011

ICC in the Media, Update #34

This week the media has primarily focused on the newly issued ICC warrants against Gaddafi, his son and Libya's Chief of Police. Reportedly Gaddafi announced that he will refuse to recognize the warrants. ICC Prosecutor Ocampo has urged Gaddafi's inner circle to turn him in or risk prosecution themselves, but so far none appear to have complied. On Friday members of the African Union met for the 17th AU Summit where they criticized the ICC's arrest warrants in Libya, arguing that the ICC unfairly targets African nations. The ICC Deputy Prosecutor rejected such arguments in a statement last week, emphasizing that the victims are also African and that in most cases the African nations referred themselves to the international tribunal. In other news, Omar al-Bashir, the Sudanese President wanted by the ICC on numerous charges, visited China last week as previously planned. The trip was reportedly delayed because he rerouted his airplane to avoid entering Tajikistan and Turkmenistan's airspace after they refused to grant him passage. Reportedly he also avoided flying through Afghanistan out of fear of NATO escorting him to the ICC. Although China is not a member state, the visit drew international criticism including "disappointment" from the United States and United Nations. Onlookers reiterated the commitment nations must make to take initiative in enforcing international justice if progress is to be made. In the Kenya case, ICC judges determined last week that the suspects' hearings will be held at the Hague, not in Kenya as previously suggested. Presiding Judge Ekaterina Trendafilova stressed the wishes of witnesses and victims in making this decision. She further dismissed the idea of allowing solely domestic tribunals due to insufficient evidence that such tribunals would ever become a reality, let alone be adequately independent. In the ongoing Bemba case witness testimony continues. Last week a witness for the prosecution conceded under cross-examination that he was unsure the defendant was responsible for he pillaging he witnessed. Photo credit: The Telegraph.

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