Wednesday 28 May 2008

Bemba in Custody in The Hague

Jean-Pierre Bemba becomes the 12th person to be charged by the International Criminal Court. See: Bemba was arrested in Belgium on Saturday for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the Central African Republic. This is the first arrest warrant for the 'situation in Central AFrican Republic'.
The Central African Republic, which is a State Party to the Rome Statute, referred the situation on its territory to the Court on 21 December 2004. It was the third such 'self-referral', a creative way of triggering the jurisdiction of the Court which was developed by the Prosecutor. Only in May 2007, nearly two and a half years after the referral, did the Prosecutor announce a decision to 'initiate an investigation' into the situation.
Last weekend, I attended a conference at which Deputy Prosecutor Bensouda said that other possible situations are being studied with a view to launching proceedings: Afghanistan (!), Colombia and Côte d'Ivoire.
Thanks to Nadia Bernaz.

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