Bemba, Kilolo et al. case: ICC Pre-Trial Chamber II grants interim release to four suspects PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 22 October 2014 08:51

The 21st October 2014, Judge Cuno Tarfusser, Single Judge of Pre-Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court (ICC), reviewed motu proprio the detention of the suspects in the case The Prosecutor v. Bemba, Kilolo et al. and ordered the release of Aimé Kilolo Musamba, Jean-Jacques Mangenda Kabongo, Fidèle Babala Wandu and Narcisse Arido.

The Chamber found that, since the reasonableness of the duration of the detention has to be balanced inter alia against the statutory penalties applicable to the offences at stake in these proceedings, the release was necessary to avoid that the duration of the pre-trial detention become disproportionate. In this case, in the event of conviction, the Court may impose a term of imprisonment not exceeding five years, or a fine, or both.

The four suspects, Aimé Kilolo Musamba, Jean-Jacques Mangenda Kabongo, Fidèle Babala Wandu and Narcisse Arido, will be released, respectively, to Belgium, the United Kingdom, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and France. The suspects shall appear before the Court when requested.

Pre-Trial Chamber II’s decision will be implemented as soon as the ICC Registry finalises all the necessary arrangements. The Office of the Prosecutor may also appeal this decision and request suspensive effect.

Jean-Pierre Bemba, the fifth suspect in this case, will remain in detention in connection with ongoing proceedings in another case before the Court, The Prosecutor v. Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo.

ICC Prosecutor and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights pledge to further strengthen collaboration PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 20 October 2014 14:57

On Wednesday, 15 October 2014, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Mrs. Fatou Bensouda, met with the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mr. Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein in Geneva, Switzerland.

At the meeting, Prosecutor Bensouda congratulated High Commissioner Zeid on his recent appointment as the sixth United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and together they discussed ways to further strengthen collaboration between their respective Offices.  “Fostering respect for human rights and accountability for mass crimes are critical and complementary goals,” said Prosecutor Bensouda. “As with his predecessor, Mrs. Navi Pillay, High Commissioner Zeid is an esteemed champion of human rights and the rule of law.  I look forward to working closely with him and to explore additional avenues for synergies that can be pursued with full respect for our respective independent mandates,” she added.

"The ICC plays an essential role in contributing to accountability for serious human right violations and other international crimes," Commissioner Zeid said. "We see its involvement in certain situations as a vital element not only for the purposes of accountability but also as a disincentive to others to commit such crimes and violations."

The Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC conducts independent and impartial investigations and prosecution of the crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.  The Office of the Prosecutor is currently conducting eight investigations in Uganda; Democratic Republic of the Congo; Darfur, Sudan; Central African Republic; Kenya; Libya; Cote d’Ivoire and Mali. The Office is also conducting preliminary examinations relating to the situations in Afghanistan, Colombia, Georgia Guinea, Honduras, Iraq, Nigeria, Ukraine and the situation referred by the Union of the Comoros.

As the principal United Nations office mandated to promote and protect human rights for all, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) leads global human rights efforts, speaks out objectively in the face of human rights violations worldwide. OHCHR provide a forum for identifying, highlighting and developing responses to today's human rights challenges, and acts as the principal focal point of human rights research, education, public information, and advocacy activities in the United Nations system.

Since Governments have the primary responsibility to protect human rights, the OHCHR provides assistance to Government, such as expertise and technical trainings in the areas of administration of justice, legislative reform, and electoral process, to help implement international human rights standards on the ground.  It also supports National Human Rights institutions and engages with civil society actors.

Case 002/02 substantive hearings commence on 17 October PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 16 October 2014 14:51

The Trial Chamber of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Court of Cambodia (ECCC) will commence the hearing on substance in Case 002/02 against Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan on 17 October 2014 at 09:00 in the Main Courtroom of the ECCC. The Co-Prosecutors will be afforded an opportunity to make a brief opening statement and the Accused and/or their lawyers may respond briefly, before the first witness will be called to testify on Monday 20 October. The first sequence to be heard during trial will be the charges related to the Tram Kok Cooperatives, including the treatment of Buddhists, and the related Kraing Ta Chan Security Centre.

President Meron’s address before the United Nations General Assembly PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 14 October 2014 14:30

President Theodor Meron yesterday presented the Tribunal’s twenty-first annual report to the UN General Assembly. President Meron reported on the Tribunal’s steady progress in completing its last remaining cases, noting that fewer than ten trials and appeals remain unfinished, and praising the hard work of Judges and staff of the Tribunal.

Describing progress in completing judicial proceedings, the President noted that less than ten cases remain unfinished, and that by the end of the year the Tribunal will have delivered three appeal judgements. He observed that according to current forecasts, by the end of 2015 only one trial and one appeal will still be ongoing, in the Mladić and Prlić et al. cases.

The President underscored that the Tribunal is focused on downsizing the institution as rapidly as possible while also ensuring that judicial work continues to reflect the highest international standards. In this regard, the President observed that Judges and staff of the Tribunal are especially grateful to the Office of Human Resources Management (OHRM) for its flexibility in accepting certain departures from standard UN regulations, thus facilitating retention and recruitment of staff members. The President expressed his hope that OHRM would continue to be flexible with respect to any future requests.

The President explained that the Tribunal continues to face certain challenges, and that given the complexity of the cases being addressed, some delays and setbacks are inevitable. He observed that a particular challenge facing the Tribunal is preserving staff morale, and noted that the international community’s support for the Tribunal is an inspiration to staff members, helping them keep their focus on completing the last trials and appeals.

President Meron observed that despite the challenges it continues to face, the Tribunal has “outpaced the expectations of even the most optimistic observers” serving as “a testament to the international community’s dedication to the rule of law, and a symbol of Member States’ common commitment to ending impunity.”

Déclaration du Procureur de la CPI, Fatou Bensouda, à l’occasion de la journée internationale de la fille PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 13 October 2014 14:05

En ce jour, la communauté internationale rend hommage à près d'un milliard de filles qui vivent aux quatre coins de la planète, reconnaît leur immense potentiel en vue de faire progresser l'humanité et s'engage à briser les obstacles spécifiques qui les empêchent encore d'exploiter pleinement un potentiel aussi prometteur.

Aujourd'hui, nous réitérons notre engagement à tout mettre en œuvre pour que leur enfance soit préservée au jour le jour et qu'elles puissent s'épanouir pleinement en tant qu'adultes et en tant que citoyennes actives et engagées.

La dure réalité n'en reste pas moins que la spirale de la violence dont souffrent les filles doit être brisée à tout jamais. Nous ne pouvons pas ignorer la souffrance des filles qui sont la proie de formes de violence ignobles, notamment des crimes sexuels et à caractère sexiste, qu'elles se produisent dans le cadre de conflits armés ou dans d'autres circonstances.

La violence sexuelle est souvent utilisée comme une des armes de guerre les plus  destructrices. Comme nous avons pu le constater maintes fois, elle a le pouvoir non seulement de détruire l'individu, mais aussi de faire éclater le noyau familial et de détériorer en profondeur le tissu social des communautés concernées. Les mariages forcés continuent de gâcher la vie d'un nombre incalculable de filles, et environ 100 000 d'entre elles sont actuellement utilisées comme enfants soldats dans des conflits qui sévissent à travers le monde. Il est insupportable de constater les effets dévastateurs de tels crimes sur les filles en question. Il s'agit d'une malédiction mondiale qui pèse fortement sur notre conscience collective.

Aujourd'hui, en tant que Procureur de la Cour pénale internationale, je réaffirme mon engagement et celui de mon Bureau en vue de faire pleinement appliquer la loi pour traduire devant la justice les auteurs de tels crimes portant la plus lourde part de responsabilité, les sanctionner et empêcher que de telles exactions ne se reproduisent, dans le strict respect des dispositions du traité fondateur de la Cour, le Statut de Rome, et conformément à la politique générale relative aux crimes sexuels et à caractère sexiste mise en œuvre par mon Bureau et à sa politique en cours d'élaboration à propos des enfants.

La violence à l'encontre des filles et des femmes est un fléau que seule une détermination commune permettra de vaincre. Nous avons tous un rôle à jouer dans ce combat et mon Bureau est résolu à remplir le sien.


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