Wednesday, November 23, 2011

ICC in the Media, Update #52

This week the ICC was the center of numerous international news stories. As we reported preliminarily, Gaddifi's son Saif al-Islam, wanted by the ICC, has been captured in Libya and is now in the custody of Libyan authorities. However, despite early reports, US envoy to the United Nations has said Libya's new leaders cannot confirm that ICC suspect Senussi has been arrested. Since Saif's arrest, Libyan officials have made clear that they want to conduct proceedings against Saif domestically. ICC Prosecutor Ocampo travelled to the country on Tuesday to discuss with members of the National Transitional Council the best course of action. Reportedly the Prosecutor has agreed under the principle of complementarity for Libya to handle the cases with the ICC (and its judges) playing a supporting role. The ICC has subsequently issued a statement saying the ICC judges will decide whether Libya can conduct the trial.
A domestic trial in Libya faces numerous challenges, not least of which is the current lack of a judicial system set up by the National Transitional Council. Despite this, Libyan officials have invited international organizations to monitor the trial of Saif al-Islam. Also in the Libya case, the ICC on Tuesday announced that it is officially dropping its charges against Muammar Gaddafi after receiving a copy of his death certificate. In other news, in the Kenya case the ICC's Office of the Registrar has formally requested that the Kenyan government prevent the six suspects from transferring their assets until the ICC judges reach a verdict. Suspect Uruhu Kenyatta has asked the Pre-Trial Chamber to ignore two witness statements relied on by the prosecution in his Confirmation of Charges hearing. The judges have yet to respond on this issue. Photo credit: The L.A. Times.

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