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Posts Tagged ‘Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court’

The ICC Judges are expected to interpret the amendments correctly, says the President of the Assembly of States Parties Ambassador Tiina Intelmann

Posted by African Press International on November 28, 2013

Kenya went to the Twelfth Session of the  Assembly of States Parties with one aim – to get the amendments through, so that President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto is no longer distracted by the International Criminal Court‘s demand for their continuous presence in court during the proceedings.

The Twelfth Session of the ASP – Hague

Published on 29 Nov 2013

28 November 2013 – Closing remarks of Ambassador Tiina Intelmann, President of the Assembly of States Parties, to the 12th Session of the ASP.

http://youtu.be/BdDwSkc6Gjg

Kenya managed to secure support from willing Nations enabling for the passing of the amendments. The President and the deputy President will now be able to perform their duties as the constitutional demands of them, without interference and interruption from any quarters.

Exclusive Interview: ONE on ONE with the President of the Assembly of States Parties, Ambassador Tiina Intelmann:

Asked whether she has confidence in the ICC Judges and the Chief Prosecutor, Ambassador Intelmann told  African Press International that she has confidence in them, adding that should any Member State raise a complaint against any of them, she will not hesitate taking the matter up, with the Assembly of State Parties, in line with the laid down procedures in the Rome Statute and so far no Member State has raised any complaint against their performance.

With the new amendments passed, Kenya is today a proud Nation having had learned minds and qualified negotiators in their delegation that worked in a focused manner on the issues tirelessly with a desire to ensure success. Lobbying was very important and the delegation managed to make friends with some Nations that were considered hostile to the desired amendments. They finally got their support to the amendments as put forward by the working group.

Some of the Members of the Kenya Delegation to the Twelfth Session of the Assembly of States Parties in the Hague between 20th – 28th November 2013:

The brains that made Kenya and the Presidency proud by carrying the day at the negotiation table in securing the necessary amendments that will contribute to Kenya’s stability.

www.africanpress.me/ Some of the members of the Kenya Delegation during the Twelfth Session of the Assembly of States Parties held in the Hague from the 20th to 28th of November 2013

http://www.africanpress.me/ Some of the members of the Kenya Delegation during the Twelfth Session of the Assembly of States Parties held in the Hague from the 20th to 28th of November 2013

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www.africanpress.me/ Some of the members of the Kenya Delegation during the Twelfth Session of the Assembly of States Parties held in the Hague from the 20th to 28th of November 2013

http://www.africanpress.me/ Some of the members of the Kenya Delegation during the Twelfth Session of the Assembly of States Parties held in the Hague from the 20th to 28th of November 2013

 

The Kenyan NGOs who participated during the Session chose to organise many side events that was meant to derail the negotiation process to secure the new amendments. The passing of the amendments was a big blow to them. Their aim was to impress upon Member States delegates to reject any amendments that would allow the two Kenyan leaders, President Kenyatta and Deputy President Ruto to be excused from continuous presence in the court and only be represented by counsel.

On realised that their efforts were fruitless, most of the NGOs packed their things and left the Conference center hurriedly travelling back to home. This may serve as a lesson to them that they should not pork their noses in everything – a lesson that they should, in some cases, put their country first.

By passing the amendments put forward by the African Nations, the West has now realised that Africa is no longer a push-over, lying down and allowing themselves to be dictated to at all times.

Africa’s unity, through the AU, has now educated the West by telling them that they are able and ready to decide their own destiny at all times.

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Kenya emerges victorious at the Twelfth session of the Assembly of States Parties held in the Hague, by securing amendments to the Rome Statute – to their satisfaction

Posted by African Press International on November 27, 2013

Kenya has emerged victorious at the twelfth session of the Assembly of States Parties by securing amendments to their satisfaction. This means now that President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto are not required to appear in the International Criminal Court in person but only represented by Counsel.

Part 1

Part 2

This is good news for African Union who had pushed for the deferral because they did not want to see Kenya’s Commander-in-Chief and President of the Republic of Kenya humiliated, sitting daily in the court instead of serving the people of Kenya.

Kenya’s Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Ambassador Amina Mohamed was thrilled to see her delegation manage their assignment. The delegation was led by the Attorney General Prof Githu Muigai. In the delegation were many other senior government officials among them, the Director of Public Prosecutions, Mr Keriako Tobiko.

Today is a celebration for those Kenyans and friends of Kenya who supported the amendments because they do not want the Head of State and his deputy to be humiliated.

However, there are those who are disappointed like the NGOs and some members of the Kenya opposition parties who wanted to see the humiliation of the President and his deputy carried through.

Ambassador Amina Mohamed informed the media that the amendments also allows for the Video link in other cases in the future. She hopes the video link trials  can be extended to cover Mr Joshua Arap sang since his case is already ongoing.

When asked if the trial via video link will be extended to Mr Barasa whose warrant of arrest has been issued by the ICC accusing him of confusing witnesses, the Cabinet Secretary stated that there was no discussion in that direction. Mr Barasa, therefore, will have to face the ICC in person to answer the charges if he is exported to the Hague by the Kenyan authorities. He has gone to court to block exportation. Mr Barasa recently told the media that he worked with ICC investigators on witnesses and that they turned against him when he was considered hostile to the needs of the ICC prosecution. Barasa is a Kenyan journalist who has claimed that he was being paid by the prosecution investigators whenever he gave them the help they needed.

Did Mr Barasa break the code of conduct as a journalist in any way?

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12th Session of the Assembly of States Parties going through proposed amendments to the Rome Statute

Posted by African Press International on November 26, 2013

The Session held at the World Forum Center, the Hague in the Netherlands. 122 Nations are in attendance. Kenya wants immunity from prosecution for serving Heads of State and is seeking the support from willing Nations.

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The deferral of the ICC case against President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto fails to get enough votes at the UN today

Posted by African Press International on November 15, 2013

The United Nations Security Council has rejected the request by the African Union to grant a deferral in order to allow Kenya‘s President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto to give more of their time to the running of the country.

It now remains to be seen what action the AU will take because it had decided that if deferral is not granted, the AU member states may pull out of the Rome Statute that established the International Criminal Court.

During the vote at the Security Council, 8 countries abstained while only 7 voted for the deferral. To win a vote at the UNSC, one requires to get 9 votes and no veto.

Mr Kenyatta’s case is set to start on February the 5th 2014 while Mr Ruto’s case resumes next week on the 21st November 2013.

There are many analysts now who say there is a possibility that Mr Kenyatta may not turn up when his case starts, Those who want him well, however, fear that if he does not meet up the ICC will issue a warrant of arrest, something many say will not be good for the country. These group is encauraging the president to atten the trial.

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MP Kajiado North constituency Hon. Manje Kajiado speaks to API on Kenya cases going on at the ICC

Posted by African Press International on October 25, 2013

The Member of Parliament for Kajiado North constituency Hon. Manje says he does not support immediate pull-out by Kenya from the Rome Statute that established the ICC. The Kenya Parliament is now ready with a bill that if passed and ascended to by the President will free Kenya from the claws of the ICC. This, however, will not take place immediately, but in a year’s time. Any pull-out will not affect the ongoing Kenya cases. He also says the ICC should be critical on the witnesses who are in court with suspect evidence with, most of it, hearsay!

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At the ICC doorsteps praying: Kenyans and Kenya Members of Parliament/Deputy President Ruto and Sang

Posted by African Press International on October 17, 2013

The Deputy President William Ruto and Journalist Arap Sang together with other Kenyans and Members of Parliament pray at the ICC after the day’s trial proceedings were adjourned to the next day.

Some of the members of parliament:

www.africanpress.me/ Kenya Members of Parliament From Left to Right: Hon. Benjamin Washiali, Hon. Mary Emaase Otucho, Hon. Eng. Vincent Musyoka Musau and Hon. Hassan Abdi Dukicha all at the ICC to give moral support to Deputy President Ruto and Journalist Sang during their ongoing trial. 17th, October 2013

http://www.africanpress.me/ Kenya Members of Parliament From Left to Right: Hon. Benjamin Washiali, Hon. Mary Emaase Otucho, Hon. Eng. Vincent Musyoka Musau and Hon. Hassan Abdi Dukicha all at the ICC to give moral support to Deputy President Ruto and Journalist Sang during their ongoing trial. 17th, October 2013

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Statement of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda, on the Warrant of Arrest issued against Walter Barasa

Posted by African Press International on October 2, 2013

The Government of Kenya has received a warrant for the immediate arrest and transfer of Walter Barasa to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to face criminal charges.  There is evidence to suggest that Walter Barasa tried to bribe someone he thought was a Prosecution witness in the case against Mr. Ruto.

The Office of the Prosecutor is taking action against those who are alleged to be corruptly influencing Prosecution witnesses.
The Prosecution has conducted a comprehensive investigation on the basis of documented allegations of witness interference, which continues to date. The evidence collected so far indicates that there is a network of people who are trying to sabotage the case against Mr. Ruto et al. by interfering with Prosecution witnesses. Walter Barasa, against whom compelling evidence has been collected, has been part of this network, and his actions fit into this wider scheme that the Office continues to investigate.
Under Article 70 of the Rome Statute, using bribes or threats to influence witnesses to change or recant their testimony is a crime. If found guilty, Walter Barasa faces up to five years in prison, a fine, or both.
We expect Kenyan authorities to arrest Walter Barasa and hand him over to the Court.  He will appear before ICC judges on charges of corruptly influencing and attempting to corruptly influence a person he believed to be a Prosecution witnesses.
The warrant was issued by the Single Judge of the Pre-Trial Chamber after he determined, on the basis of the evidence, that there are reasonable grounds to believe that Walter Barasa corruptly influenced or attempted to influence a person he thought was a Prosecution witness.
During an initial hearing before ICC Judges, Walter Barasa will be informed of the crimes which he is alleged to have committed and of his rights under the Rome Statute. His plea will be entered and the Judges will then set a date for a hearing on the charges. At this subsequent hearing, the Judges will hear submissions from both the Prosecution and Walter Barasa’s Defence on whether his case should go to trial. If the charges are confirmed, the judges will set a trial date. These are the next steps in the case against Walter Barasa.
In the meantime, we continue to monitor and investigate all incidents of witness interference.
The issuance of an arrest warrant in this case should be a warning to others who may be involved in obstructing the course of justice through intimidating, harassing, bribing or attempting to bribe ICC witnesses. My Office will continue to do everything it can to ensure that witnesses are able to present their evidence before the Court without fear. Witnesses who have courage to come forward to testify deserve no less.
The ability of the Court to determine the truth in the Kenyan cases depends on the willingness of witnesses to come forward and present their evidence in the courtroom.  I admire and am grateful for the moral courage displayed by the witnesses involved in these cases.
Through my Office, I will do all within my power to protect the integrity of our cases and ensure that justice is allowed to run its course unobstructed.
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source.icc

 

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Pre-Trial Chamber II requests Nigeria to immediately arrest Omar Al Bashir

Posted by African Press International on July 15, 2013

Situation: Darfur, Sudan

Case: The Prosecutor v. Omar Hassan Ahmad Al Bashir

On 15 July 2013, Pre-Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court (ICC) requested the Federal Republic of Nigeria to immediately arrest Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir, on visit to Abuja (Nigeria) and to surrender him to the ICC. Omar Al Bashir faces charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, allegedly committed in Darfur (Sudan).

The Chamber recalled that Nigeria is a State party to the Rome Statute since= 2001, and has the obligation to execute the Court’s orders. The Chamber also noted that the situation in Darfur was referred to the ICC by resolution 1= 593 of the United Nations Security Council and that, according to article 87 (7) of the Rome Statute, “[w]here a State Party fails to comply with a request to cooperate by the Court contrary to the provisions of this Statute [… ] the Court may make a finding to that effect and refer the matter to the Assembly of States Parties or, where the Security Council referred the matter to the Court, to the Security Council”.

The Chamber instructed the ICC Registrar to immediately transmit the decision to the Nigerian authorities, and to prepare a report to the Chamber concer= ning Omar Al Bashir’s visit to the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Background

Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir is alleged to have committed five counts of crimes against humanity (murder, extermination, forcible transfer, torture and rape), two counts of war crimes (intentionally directing attacks agains= t a civilian population as such or against individual civilians not taking part in hostilities, and pillaging), and three counts of genocide committed against the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa ethnic groups. Two warrants of arrest ha= ve been issued in this case. The suspect remains at large.

The ICC has informed the United Nations Security Council and the Assembly of= States Parties to the Rome Statute of Mr Al Bashir’s visits to Djibouti, Ch= ad and Kenya, as well as of the non-cooperation of Malawi and Chad in arresting Mr Al Bashir. It is for the United Nations Security Council and the Assembly of States Parties to take any measure they may deem appropriate to ensure the full cooperation with the ICC.

 

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source ICC

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ICC underlines impartiality, reiterates commitment to cooperation with the African Union

Posted by African Press International on May 31, 2013

The Presidency of the International Criminal Court (ICC) issues the following statement in light of reports on discussions concerning the ICC at the recent Summit of the African Union held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia:

“The International Criminal Court acknowledges and respects the African Union’s important role as the continent’s main regional organization. As an impartial international judicial institution, the ICC, including its independent Office of the Prosecutor, strives to maintain good working relationships with all relevant international and regional bodies, including the African Uni= on. The ICC’s relationship with Africa is all the more important considering that 34 African countries are States Parties to the Rome Statute of the ICC . In addition, the majority of the Court’s current investigations were initi= ated following referrals or requests from the African States in question.

The ICC operates strictly within the mandate and legal framework created by= the Rome Statute, the founding treaty of the Court, and cannot take politic= al factors into account. Decisions are taken independently on the basis of the law and the available evidence and are not based on regional or ethnic considerations. Judges are the guarantors of the fairness of proceedings before the Court, from the authorisation of investigations to the confirmation or= non-confirmation of charges and decisions on guilt or innocence.

It must be recalled that cases before the ICC are not only about the suspects or the accused; they also concern the thousands of victims affected by the events under the ICC’s jurisdiction, many of whom are represented in the various proceedings with the help of legal assistance provided by the Court.

The ICC does not replace national jurisdictions; it only complements them when necessary. The Rome Statute defines the criteria for deciding whether cas= es should be tried before the ICC or in a national judicial system, and this determination is made through a judicial process by independent judges of the ICC. In all proceedings before the ICC, suspects as well as concerned States have the possibility to address these matters in accordance with the Rome Statute and the Rules of Procedure and Evidence.

While the Rome Statute gives the United Nations (UN) Security Council powers of referral and deferral in relation to the ICC, the exercise of these powers by the Security Council is governed by the UN Charter. The ICC is autonom= ous from the United Nations and does not participate in the Security Council’s decision-making. However once the Security Council refers a situation to the ICC, the investigation and proceedings that may arise from that situation are governed by the Rome Statute and the Rules of Procedure and Evidence of the ICC and are not influenced by the Security Council or any other external body.

The Presidency stresses that the ICC is an independent institution that has a specific, judicial mandate created by States determined to end impunity a= nd to contribute to the prevention of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole. The ICC counts on the continued sup= port and cooperation of its States Parties in accordance with the Rome Statute and remains fully committed to a constructive and cooperative relationship with the African Union.”

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Source ICC

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Status conference – Deputy President Mr William Ruto at the ICC Yesterday

Posted by African Press International on May 15, 2013

Kenya‘s Deputy President William Ruto accompanied by his wife Rachel appeared at the International Criminal Court in person during the status conference Tuesday.

The court is to decide when his trial will commence. Mr Ruto wants the trial to start in November or thereafter. His trial has been postponed and will now not take place as scheduled from the 28th of this month – May 2013.
Mr Ruto was allowed to address the court in person after his lawyers had made their submissions.
He asked the court to allow him to travel back to Kenya the same day in the evening, a request that the judges saw no reason to reject.
The status conference will continue today Wednesday without Ruto in court. His cooperation with the court makes things easier for him and that is the reason why the judges granted him leave to travel back to Kenya at the end of yesterday.
Ruto’s lawyers had told the court that as Deputy head of State of a Member State of the Rome Statute who cooperates with the court, he should be allowed to go home and take care of his responsibilities to the Kenyan people.

Mr Ruto assured the court that he will cooperate and recognises the court’s jurisdiction. He wants his court, when his case starts, to allow him to appear through a video link direct from Kenya so that he is at the same time able to attend to his duties as Deputy Head of State. The request is being opposed by the prosecution.

 

Mr Joshua Sang was also present. He, like Ruto, wants his case to start later in the year. His lawyers told the court that Mr Sang will attend the trial in person.

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