Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Does the Prosecutor Only Investigate Incriminating Evidence?

In preparation for a talk I am delivering at Regent’s University in London on the Arab Spring and the International Criminal Court, I have been reviewing statements by the Office of the Prosecutor concerning the Situation in Libya. In the presentation by Prosecutor Moreno-Ocampo to the Security Council, on 2 November 2011, he said:
The current focus of the investigations is twofold. First, it continues the collection of evidence against Saif Al-Islam Al-Qadhafi and Abdullah Al-Senussi in preparation for their eventual trial… (See S/PV.6647, p 3). 
The Prosecutor's claim that he is collecting evidence against the two accused should be set alongside article 54(2) of the Rome Statute, which says:
1. The Prosecutor shall:
            (a) In order to establish the truth, extend the investigation to cover all facts and evidence relevant to an assessment of whether there is criminal responsibility under this Statute, and, in doing so, investigate incriminating and exonerating circumstances equally;
Is the Prosecutor’s statement merely careless use of language, or does it actually indicate his perspective on the cases?

1 comment:

The Scientist said...

Prof. Schabas,
I believe the answer to your question would also be twofold: 1) I believe the Prosecutor was careless in his statement, as he often is, as we all remember when he said the PTC "confirmed" that Al-Bashir had committed genocide in Darfur; 2) Anywauy, he certainly tends to focus on investigating incriminating evidence, espcially since, in almost 6 years, he failed to obtain a single conviction.
I hope Ms. Fatou Bensouda does a better job than the current prosecutor...
On a different note, what do you expect from the Canadian documentary appropriatey entitled "Prosecutor", focusing on Moreno-Ocampo's work so far?
Thomaz Santos