Sunday, May 13, 2012

ICC in the Media, Update #64

In the last several weeks the media has focused on a range of both old and new ICC situations. Of particular concern has been the ongoing dispute between the ICC and Libya over where Seif al-Islam, Gaddafi's son, should be tried. On a recent visit to Libya the ICC prosecutor learned that Libya has been carrying on its own investigation against Seif which has reportedly yielded "great" evidence. If Libya hopes to succeed in its appeal to have the case remain in Libya, it will have to demonstrate to the judges that it has sufficiently investigated the case and is capable of holding a fair and independent trial. Unfortunately for Libya, the ICC judges rejected its appeal as inadmissible. Representatives from Libya have reportedly insisted that they will continue to push for the trial to be held in Libya, and are continuing to actively investigate the case against Seif. Reportedly Libya's investigations are in "an advanced stage" and are expected to be completed shortly.

In other news, increasing violence and threat of violence in the Democtratic Republic of the Congo has lead to growing international pressure for the government to arrest Bosco Ntaganda and deliver him to the ICC. Recently Ntanganda reportedly mounted a rebellion against the Congolese army and has taken hold of two towns in the east. The government has not commented on how these events affect its ability or desire to arrest and extradite Ntaganda.
In the Kenya case, suspects Kenyatta and Muthaura applied to the judges of Trial Chamber V to postpone setting a date for their trial until their challenge to the court's jurisdiction is finally resolved by the Appeals Chamber. Also in the Kenya case, the East African Legislative Assembly reportedly recently adopted a motion urging the ICC to transfer the cases to the East African Court of Justice. Several days later the East Africa Community Summit resolved to extend the mandate of the EACJ to include crime against humanity, which it did not previously encompass. Critics of the move have pointed out that setting up the EACJ to deal with crimes against humanity would add years of extra delay at best, and at worst a total denial of justice. In the on-going Bemba trial, victim testimony is set to continue. To date there are reportedly 2,744 victims participating in the trial. Finally, the ICC has been closely monitoring the situation in Mali, and is continuing to investigate whether war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide have occurred. The Office of the Prosecutor has not yet determined whether a formal investigation into the matter will be opened. Photo credits: CNN, Capital FM.

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