Wednesday, August 03, 2011

ICC in the Media, Update #38

Last week in the Kenya situation we reported that the Kenyan government had begun interviewing the "Ocampo six" in an effort to appeal the admissibility of the election violence case at the ICC. This week that effort was reportedly quelled. In a recent ruling the ICC judges unanimously rejected consideration of the new evidence because the investigations were not commenced before the trials or at the time of the admissibility hearing. The judges based this decision on prior ICC jurisprudence from the ongoing Katanga case. Also in the Kenya case, suspects Ruto, Sang and Kosgey are awaiting a green light from the ICC's Victims and Witnesses Unit to be able to use six witnesses in their upcoming trial. The approval must be received before their confirmation of charges hearing scheduled for September 1. And finally, this week Kenya reportedly received its national budget for witness protection. The 300 million Kenya shilling budget falls short of the projected amount, and officials have reportedly announced that it will not leave room for any protection of ICC prosecution witnesses. Last week in the Bemba case we reported that Jean-Pierre Bemba has been selected as a presidential hopeful for the MLC party in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This announcement has raised criticism and questions of whether he would be able to run as the leader of the DRC, both legally and logistically, from his current residence in a cell at the Hague. This week the President of the Ivory Coast spoke out in support of the ICC's investigation into the country's election violence last year in an attempt to secure justice. The leader acknowledged the country's desire to seek justice domestically, but said that the government will seek help from the ICC in prosecuting the most serious crimes. This week the Coalition for the International Criminal Court reportedly sent a letter to the President of Nepal urging the nation to take steps to ratify the Rome Statute. In 2006 Nepal's legislature endorsed a proposal to become a member state to the Court, but this commitment was not subsequently achieved. The Philippines are in the process of ratifying the Rome Statute, with the President ratifying the treaty on May 6. However, the nation's domestic laws require endorsement from the Senate before the international agreement can come into effect, so this week the Phillipines' foreign affairs Secretary has urged the Senate to do so. Photo credit: Daily Nation.

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