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Archive for December, 2008

BBC, Dec.18.08

Immunity allegedly offered to suspected war criminal Radovan Karadzic is not valid and will not prevent his trial, the UN war crimes court has ruled.

The ex-Bosnian Serb leader faces 11 counts of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.

His claim that he was offered immunity by US peace envoy Richard Holbrooke in 1996 in exchange for giving up his leadership is denied by Mr Holbrooke.

The UN said any deal “would be invalid under international law”.

Mr Karadzic was caught in July after 13 years on the run and faces trial at the UN’s International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) at The Hague.

It was not clear if he would appeal against the ruling. He is defending himself against the crimes allegedly committed during the Bosnian war of 1992-95. read more…

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Dec.17.08

Venezuelan lawyer Hermann Escarrá said that Venezuelan prisoners are retained in jail beyond the legal limits of preemptive custody

A group of Venezuelan lawyers filed on Wednesday a complaint against President Hugo Chávez before the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC). The lawyers accused Venezuela’s leader of crimes against humankind for the violation of human rights of political and common prisoners in the country.   

Hermán Escarrá, the representative of the prisoners, explained to EFE that the complaint “is based on Article 7” of the Rome Statute, which is related to “crime against humanity” in case of acts committed against human rights, EFE reported.   read more…

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By Fred Ojambo

Dec. 16 (Bloomberg) — Uganda said it would seek to try rebel leader Joseph Kony locally rather than hand him over to the International Criminal Court if he surrenders during the assault on his bases in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

The leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army would be treated like “anybody who surrenders,” and Uganda will “try and exhaust all the local remedies,” before thinking of handing him over to the ICC, Sam Kutesa, Uganda’s foreign affairs minister, told reporters today in the capital, Kampala.

The Ugandan military started bombing LRA bases in Garamba National Park on Dec. 14 and ground forces are closing in as part of an operation aimed at forcing the rebels to the negotiating table, Kutesa said. read more…

 

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Dec. 15.08

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), scheduled to complete its mandate end of 2009, is now confronted with ten new cases coupled with the possibility of loosing seven of its current judges.

Addressing the United Nations Security Council in New York, last Friday, The President of the ICTR, Justice Dennis Byron from St. Kitts and Nevis revealed that the new cases included the trials of accused arrested in 2007 and 2008, a retrial of former Rwandan military officer, Lieutenant Colonel Tharcisse Muvunyi ordered by the Appeals Chamber and one contempt of court case.

Monday, ten months after the initial appearance of the former Rwandan minister for Youth, Callixte Nzabonimana, arrested early this year in Kigoma, western part of Tanzania, parties to the case failed to agree on the date when the actual hearing would start. Another status conference was schedule early next year.

The others are five prosecutors’ cases denied by the Chambers to be referred to national jurisdictions. They included a trial against the former Director General of Rwandan Tea Sector, Michel Bagaragaza scheduled for Norway and four others earmarked for transfer to Rwanda, the first of which being that of a businessman, Yusuf Munyakazi. read more…

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A U.N. tribunal finds Theoneste Bagosora guilty in the deaths of former Prime Minister Agathe Uwilingiyimana and others in the nation’s 1994 mass killings.
By Edmund Sanders

December 19, 2008

Reporting from Nairobi, Kenya – The ringleader of the 1994 Rwanda genocide was sentenced Thursday to life in prison for his role in the early days of an ethnic slaughter that eventually killed an estimated 800,000 people.

Theoneste Bagosora, 67, is the highest-ranking military officer convicted at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. The former colonel’s prosecution is viewed as a significant step in efforts to punish war crimes.

“This victory sends a message to people like the warlords in Darfur or those committing horrendous rapes and killings in Congo,” said Barbara Mulvaney, a Southern California lawyer who served as chief prosecutor. “Every time one of these guys goes down, the message is: Sooner or later you are going to be held accountable.”

Judges found Bagosora, as cabinet director of the Defense Ministry, culpable in the deaths of former Rwandan Prime Minister Agathe Uwilingiyimana, four opposition leaders and 10 Belgian peacekeepers, all killed in the early hours of the genocide. He was also convicted of overseeing four days of deadly rampages across the country.

But judges rejected allegations that Bagosora and others had plotted as early as 1990 to prepare for the genocide. Tribunal officials had charged Bagosora with “conspiracy to commit genocide,” hoping a conviction on the charge would refute those who still denied genocide had occurred and who claimed the violence was a spontaneous eruption of ethnic hostility. read more…

 

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Yearender: Khartoum struggles hard to get rid of crisis with ICC court
KHARTOUM, Dec. 14 (Xinhua) — The Sudanese government led by President Omer al-Bashir struggled hard in the year 2008 to get rid of a nightmare caused by an indictment of the International Criminal Courts (ICC).

In the last week of November on the sidelines of an UN development conference in Doha, Sudan’s President Omer al-Bashir met with his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy and some other foreign heads of state, which were seen as Khartoum’s latest diplomatic efforts to lobby its African allies, Arab brothers as well as world powers to defer the ICC indictment against the Sudanese president.

On July 14, ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo listed 10 charges against al-Bashir for responsibilities for a so-called “genocide and crimes against humanity” in the western Sudanese region of Darfur, and demanded a warrant of arrest, the first of its kind against an incumbent head of state. read more…

 

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IRIN- Dec 10 08

The pre-trial chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) today has asked prosecutors to submit additional information regarding their request for arrest warrants for three rebel commanders for their role in last year’s deadly attack against peacekeepers in the war-ravaged Sudanese region of Darfur.

Some 1,000 rebels attacked the Haskanita camp in South Darfur state on 29 September 2007, killing 12 peacekeepers serving with the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) – a predecessor to the joint UN-AU peacekeeping mission, known as UNAMID- and wounding eight others. read more…

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