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The Ten Obstacles the ICC Prosecutor Faces In Investigating Palestine

Some of those who support Israel see the International Criminal Court (ICC) as an existential threat. Here is a first set of ten obstacles that the Hague Court, which has taken a fight with a muscular opponent in the most heated region in the world, will have to face.

On March 3, Fatou Bensouda the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) opened an investigation into the situation in Palestine, covering crimes which may have been committed since 13 June 2014 - the date that the Palestinian authorities gave to the ICC when they asked the court to step in.

These alleged crimes include acts committed by both the Israeli defence forces and by Hamas and Palestinian armed groups during 2014 and by Israeli authorities since 2014 in theoccupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Bensouda has effectively presented a challenge for her successor, Karim Khan, who will take the reins in June this year for a 9-year term.

Here we list the top ten obstacles that will make this investigation the most difficult the court has ever attempted.

US and UK: Accessories to Genocide | Tikun Olam |

They block Security Council resolution condemning Israel's attack on Gaza

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sat Aug 26th, 2023 at 10:20:25 AM EST
Under fire, ICC prosecutor says to uphold fight against atrocities | Reuters - Nov. 23, 2016 |

The International Criminal Court's prosecutor said her investigations into alleged war crimes would not be impacted by the plans of three African countries to withdraw from the court and she would keep going after the perpetrators of atrocities.

Gambia, South Africa and Burundi notified the United Nations in October and November of their plans to withdraw from the ICC. The withdrawals become effective one year after the notification is filed.

To date, all but one of the court's 10 investigations have been in Africa and its five convicted suspects are from Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic and Mali.

The ICC rejects allegations of bias against African nations, arguing many of the cases were brought by African governments themselves and that it has 10 preliminary inquiries or investigations into alleged atrocities in Afghanistan, Colombia, Georgia, Iraq, the Palestinian Territories and Ukraine.

The ICC is a court of last resort, only intervening in member countries when national jurisdictions are unable or unwilling to prosecute mass atrocities.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Aug 26th, 2023 at 10:22:20 AM EST
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Former Liberian Leader Boycotts War Crimes Trial | PBS - June 2007 |

Taylor's assigned lawyer Karim Khan also left the courtroom, saying the former leader had withdrawn permission to have Khan represent him and was instead applying to serve as his own defense attorney.

The judge then ordered the trial to continue, and Chief Prosecutor Stephen Rapp began his opening statement.

Rapp countered Taylor's claims, saying that the former leader had been assigned a lawyer, assistant attorneys, a special investigator and court funds. "Everything that can be done is being done," Rapp said, according to the Associated Press.

Presiding Judge Julia Sebutinde of Uganda repeatedly cut short Khan's address and Taylor's letter, demanding an explanation of Taylor's absence.

Sebutinde ordered Khan to stay and represent Taylor through the first day of the trial, but he said he no longer had Taylor's authority and left.

Taylor, 59, has pleaded not guilty to 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity at the Special Court for Sierra Leone. Approximately 50,000 people died in the West African nation's civil war from 1991 to 2002.

"Even a 'Big Man' Must Face Justice" -- Lessons from the Trial of Charles Taylor | July 25, 2012 |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sat Aug 26th, 2023 at 10:23:36 AM EST
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