Some updates from the ICC
New ICC Deputy-Prosecutor and Registrar
On 8 March Mr James Stewart of Canada was sworn in as Deputy Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) during a ceremony held in an open session of the Court. ICC President Judge Sang-Hyun Song presided over the session and the President of the Assembly of States Parties (ASP), Ambassador Tiina Intelmann served as witness to the solemn undertaking. For more information see here. For a short biography of Mr Stewart see here.
On the same date, sitting in a plenary session, judges of the ICC elected Herman von Hebel (currently serving as registrar of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon) for a period of five years by an absolute majority by secret ballot. Mr von Hebel succeeds Ms Silvana Arbia, whose current five-year mandate is to end on 16 April 2013. For a biography of Mr von Hebel see here. For a summary of his relevant experience see here.
Withdrawal of the case against Muthaura (Kenya situation)
Yesterday, 11 March, the Prosecutor of the ICC, Ms. Fatou Bensouda, filed a notice to the Judges to withdraw charges against Mr. Francis Kirimi Muthaura (Kenya situation). In a short, but carefully crafted statement she explained having done so after carefully considering all the evidence available to the OTP at this time. She noted that it is her duty to proceed only when there is a reasonable prospect of conviction at trial. If not, then it is her responsibility as Prosecutor to take the decision to withdraw the charges.
In her statement Ms. Bensouda added that her decision is based only on the specific facts of the case against Mr. Muthaura, and not on any other consideration. In concluding she emphasized her unwavering commitment to justice for the victims of the 2007-2008 post-election violence. As she stated, the real victims of the terrible violence in Kenya five years ago are the men, the women, and the children, who were killed, injured, raped, or forcibly displaced from their homes – and whose voices must not be forgotten.
For the official document filed by the OTP/ICC with the Judges see here.
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