African Press International (API)

"Daily Online News Channel".

Archive for November 25th, 2013

The Hague and justice: Swearing-in and handing over ceremony: RSCSL Judges

Posted by African Press International on November 25, 2013

THE HAGUE, Netherlands, November 25, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ – The public and the media are invited to the swearing-in of the 16 Judges of the Residual Court for Sierra Leone and the hand-over of the Special Court complex to Government, to take place at the SCSL courthouse on 2 December 2013 beginning at 9:00 a.m. prompt. There will be photo opportunities.

The Judges, ten of whom are appointed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations and six by the Government of Sierra Leone, will comprise the RSCSL’s Roster of Judges. They will exercise judicial functions in an ad hoc capacity on matters arising from the ongoing legal obligations of the Special Court for Sierra Leone. These could include the review of applications by convicts for early release or judicial review of their convictions. They may also be called to preside over any contempt of court proceedings.

The 16 judges are: (Appointed by the Government of Sierra Leone) Justice George Gelaga King, Justice John Bankole Thompson, Justice Jon Kamanda, Justice Vivian Margarette Solomon, Justice Abdulai Hamid Charm and Justice Eku Roberts, all of Sierra Leone.

(Appointed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations) Justice Richard Brunt Lussick (Samoa), Justice Pierre G. Boutet (Canada), Justice Renate Winter (Austria), Justice Teresa Anne Doherty (Northern Ireland), Justice Shireen Avis Fisher (USA), Justice Philip Nyamu Waki (Kenya), Justice Elizabeth Ibanda Nahamya (Uganda), Justice Oagile B. K. Dingake (Botswana), Justice Andrew John Hatton (UK) and Justice Isaack Lenaola (Kenya).

Immediately after the ceremony, Registrar Binta Mansaray will officially hand over the Courthouse and the Special Court complex to Attorney-General Franklyn Bai Kargbo, on behalf of the Government of Sierra Leone. A “soft opening” of the Sierra Leone Peace Museum will follow.

The Government of Sierra Leone will host an official closing ceremony later in the day at State House.

 

SOURCE

Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL)

 

Advertisements

Posted in AA > News and News analysis | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

A call for the Protection of Eritreans in their quest for safety

Posted by African Press International on November 25, 2013

GENEVA, Switzerland, November 25, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/– The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea, Sheila B. Keetharuth, expressed great concern about rampant human rights violations in Eritrea which caused hundreds of thousands to leave their country for an unknown and precarious future.

“I call on the Eritrean Government to respect its human rights obligations and to put an immediate stop to human rights violations that are committed in the country”, Ms. Keetharuth stressed after interviewing Eritreans during an official mission* to Tunisia and Malta.

The blanket disrespect of fundamental human rights in Eritrea is pushing some 2,000 to 3,000 people to leave the country monthly, although the risks along the escape routes are of a life-threatening nature. In 2012, the total Eritrean population of concern to UNHCR amounted to 305,723.

During her ten-day mission, the indefinite national service was quoted as the main reason inciting Eritreans to leave their home country. “The open-ended national service is a system which keeps Eritreans captive in a situation of despair, forcing them to take unimaginable risks in search of freedom and a safe haven,” she noted.

Young Eritreans, both women and men, often before reaching 18 years, are recruited into a compulsory national service characterised by severe human rights abuses. Punishment amounting to torture, inhuman or degrading treatment as well as detention in inhumane conditions is routine in the military. Women explained they were particularly vulnerable to sexual abuses by officers.

“These violations are committed with complete impunity, without any structures and procedures in place for victims to bring the perpetrators to justice”, she said.

Most of those she interviewed described difficult economic and social conditions in their home country; however, they noted that the daily struggle for access to food and water, and lack of adequate health care and electricity had not motivated their departure.

“It is the complete deprivation of the freedom and security of the person, a fundamental human right also recognised by Eritrea that drives entire families to leave their country in the hope to find a place where they feel protected”, Ms. Keetharuth explained.

Many refugees she met during her mission were rescued at sea after a dangerous journey across the Sahara desert and the Mediterranean Sea. One young man told her: “We are aware of the risks associated with crossing the desert and the sea. Nobody in his right mind would take such a decision. We do it because there is no other choice.”

Ms. Keetharuth called for the protection of those fleeing from risking their lives by undertaking highly dangerous journeys to reach a place they feel is safe. She also urged the international community to address the root causes of the refugee situation by listening to the voices of victims of human rights violations in Eritrea who reach the conclusion that their only option is flight.

The human rights expert reiterated the importance to end bilateral and other arrangements between Eritrea and third countries that would provide for Eritreans to be returned to their home country where they risk facing persecution, torture, inhuman treatment, and forced recruitment into indefinite military service.

Since her appointment in November 2012, the Special Rapporteur has made several requests to visit Eritrea, which have so far not been granted. Consequently, the Expert resorted to gathering first-hand information from those who have left Eritrea. She reiterates her call for access to the country to assess the human rights situation.

The expert’s findings will be presented in her second report to the Human Rights Council in June 2014.

 

SOURCE

United NationsOffice of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)

 

Posted in AA > News and News analysis | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Former Liberian President Dictator Samuel Doe was deposed and butchered, while Former President Charles Taylor was lucky to get 50 years in jail by ICC judges!

Posted by African Press International on November 25, 2013

A lesson to learn from for all leaders who enjoy power while misusing it.

African Press International (API)

Leaders should learn from events like this. Former Libyan President Muammar Gadhafi was deposed and was lucky that he was killed immediately by the bullet into his head. He was not taken through 14 minutes and 47 seconds of torture like former president of LiberiaSamuel Doe.
Doe himself had overthrown his own relative former leader Tolbert.

Warning – Item Samuel Doe torture might contain content that is not suitable for all ages. IF NOT OVER 18 years old, DO NOT WATCH!

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=b4b_1314353314#PTseO2eJBkRZ10XY.03

Power should not get into any leader’s head.

Although no one should ever support torture, those in power should not beg for mercy like you see Samuel Doe doing on this video because he tortured and killed many innocent Liberian people.

God saved the immediate former president Charles Taylor. Lucky to escape the butcher’s knife in the bushes of Liberia‘s countryside village, now…

View original post 16 more words

Posted in AA > News and News analysis | Leave a Comment »

Bemba case: Four suspects arrested for corruptly influencing witnesses; same charges served on Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo

Posted by African Press International on November 25, 2013

On 23 and 24 November 2013, the authorities of the Netherlands, France, Belgium and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) acting pursuant to a warrant of arrest issued by Judge Cuno Tarfusser, the Single Judge of the Pre-Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court (ICC), arrested four persons suspected of offences against the administration of justice allegedly committed in connection with the case of The Prosecutor v. Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo. This warrant of arrest in respect of the same charges was also served on Jean-Pierre Bemba at the ICC’s detention centre, where he has been detained since 3 July 2008.

On 20 November 2013, Judge Tarfusser issued a warrant of arrest for Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo, his Lead Counsel Aimé Kilolo Musamba, Jean-Jacques Mangenda Kabongo (a member of Mr Bemba’s defence team and case manager), Fidèle Babala Wandu (a member of the DRC Parliament and Deputy Secretary General of the Mouvement pour la Libération du Congo), and Narcisse Arido (a Defence witness).

Judge Cuno Tarfusser found that there are reasonable grounds to believe that these persons are criminally responsible for the commission of offences against the administration of justice (article 70 of the Rome Statute) by corruptly influencing witnesses before the ICC and presenting evidence that they knew to be false or forged. The suspects, it is alleged, were part of a network for the purposes of presenting false or forged documents and bribing certain persons to give false testimony in the case against Mr Bemba.

The Belgian authorities arrested Aimé Kilolo Musamba, the Dutch authorities arrested Jean-Jacques Mangenda Kabongo, and Narcisse Arido was arrested by the French authorities, in response to requests for arrest and surrender from the ICC. They will be subsequently surrendered to the ICC in accordance with the judicial procedures applicable in the three countries. Fidèle Babala Wandu was arrested by the authorities of the DRC and is being transferred to The Hague. The date of his first appearance at the ICC will be announced shortly. The authorities also cooperated with the ICC for the purposes of searching locations connected to the suspects. The Single Judge of the Pre-Trial Chamber II further requested the States concerned to locate and freeze the suspects’ assets.

On behalf of the Court, the Registrar of the ICC, Herman von Hebel, expressed his gratitude to the States’ authorities for their cooperation, stating that these are the first arrests made in relation to such charges before the ICC.

The trial of  Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo, the alleged President and Commander-in-Chief of the Mouvement de libération du Congo, started on 22 November 2010, for two counts of crimes against humanity (rape and murder) and three counts of war crimes (rape, murder and pillaging) allegedly committed in the Central African Republic.

 

End

 

Posted in AA > News and News analysis | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

International Criminal Court: Katanga case – Judgment to be delivered on 7 February 2014

Posted by African Press International on November 25, 2013

Katanga case: Judgment to be delivered on 7 February 2014

 ICC-CPI-20131119-MA146

Situation: Democratic Republic of the Congo
Case: The Prosecutor v. Germain Katanga

On the , 19 November 2013, Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court (ICC) scheduled a hearing to deliver the judgment in the case The Prosecutor v. Germain Katanga on Friday, 7 February 2014, at 09:30 (The Hague local time).

Background: Germain Katanga, alleged commander of the Force de résistance patriotique en Ituri [Patriotic Resistance Force in Ituri] (FRPI) is accused of three counts of crimes against humanity (murder, rape and sexual slavery) and seven counts of war crimes (using children under the age of 15 to take active part in the hostilities; directing an attack against a civilian population as such or against individual civilians not taking direct part in hostilities; wilful killing; destruction of property; pillaging; sexual slavery and rape). His trial started on 24 November 2009 and final conclusions from parties and participants were heard from 15 to 23 May 2012. Mr Katanga is in the Court’s custody.

 

End

Posted in AA > News and News analysis | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Chief of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda speaks

Posted by African Press International on November 25, 2013

Statement of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda, following the issuance of a second warrant of arrest against Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo, and the arrest of four other individuals

​On 20 November 2013, the Single Judge of Pre-Trial Chamber II issued under seal a warrant of arrest against five individuals for the commission of offences against the administration of justice in connection with the case of The Prosecutor v. Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo (ICC-01/05-01/08).

Pursuant to this warrant, on 23 and 24 November 2013, police forces in Belgium, France, The Netherlands and the Democratic Republic of the Congo arrested four individuals whom my Office alleges are responsible for offences against the administration of justice under Article 70 of the Rome Statute.  The warrant of arrest was also notified on a  fifth person, Mr. Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo, who my Office alleges has ordered, solicited and induced these attempts to pervert the course of justice in relation to his on-going trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC).  Since his arrest in 2008, Mr. Bemba has been in detention at the ICC where he is facing charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity.  He completed the presentation of his case before Trial Chamber III on 22 November 2013.

Persons arrested pursuant to the current warrant of arrest are Messrs. Aimé Kilolo Musamba, Jean-Jacques Mangenda Kabongo, Narcisse Arido and Fidèle Babala Wandu.  National procedures are on-going for their surrender to the Court.

The individuals arrested include, amongst others, members of the defence team of Mr. Bemba.  It is particularly disturbing that a member of the legal profession is alleged to have intentionally and systematically participated in criminal activities aimed at undermining the administration of justice.

Article 70 of the Rome Statute stipulates that it is a criminal offence for anyone to, inter alia, attempt to corruptly influence witnesses or tamper with evidence, or present evidence known to be false or forged.  If convicted, those found responsible for these crimes may face up to five years imprisonment, or a fine, or both.

I am extremely grateful for the excellent cooperation received from all States involved in facilitating the smooth execution of the arrests and related investigative operations.

Justice must be allowed to take its course.  This warrant of arrest must serve as a warning to would-be perpetrators that my office will not hesitate to bring the full force of the law to bear against cynical – criminal – attempts to deny victims of massive crimes the justice they deserve.

 

Source:  Office of the Prosecutor

 

Posted in AA > News and News analysis | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
%d bloggers like this: