African secures ICC prosecutor's post

2011-12-01 07:39

kalahari.com

New York - International Criminal Court countries on Wednesday agreed to nominate Fatou Bensouda of Gambia as chief prosecutor for the main war crimes tribunal, diplomats said.

Bensouda, 50, is deputy to the current chief prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, who must stand down next year at the end of his nine year term. Moreno-Ocampo the first ICC prosecutor has become a high profile hunter of heads of state and militia leaders accused of genocide and crimes against humanity.

Bensouda emerged as the consensus candidate for the key post in final meetings of the ICC member nations ahead of the formal election to be held in New York on December 12.

Liechtenstein's UN Ambassador Christian Wenaweser, who has been heading the selection process, said he would formally recommend Bensouda at an informal meeting of member nations on Thursday.

"The announcement caps a lengthy and rigorous search process and we understand the decision reflects consensus among ICC states parties," said Param Preet Singh, Human Rights Watch's senior international counsel who has closely followed the selection.

A field of 52 candidates was whittled down to Bensouda, a former justice minister in her native Gambia, and Mohamed Chande Othman, chief justice of Tanzania.

Othman withdrew his candidacy on Wednesday as it became clear that African nations increasingly favored Bensouda, a UN diplomat said.

Andrew Cayley, the British co-prosecutor in the Cambodian special court handling Khmer Rouge trials, and Robert Petit, the Canadian Justice Department's top specialist on war crimes had made up the final four.

Diplomatic and managerial skills

Last week, the almost 120 ICC members, formally called the Assembly of States Parties (ASP) to the Rome statute that created the court, made it known they wanted an African candidate.

The overwhelming majority of the ICC investigations - from Ivory Coast to Sudan and Libya - have been in Africa. And African leaders have frequently accused the court of unfairly concentrating on the continent.

Moreno-Ocampo, who has issued arrest warrants for Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir for genocide and has been negotiating with Libyan authorities after the detention of Muammar Gaddafi’s, Saif al-Islam, must stand down next June.

Bensouda has been the ICC deputy prosecutor since 2004. Before that she had been an adviser and trial attorney at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in Arusha, Tanzania.

She had also been attorney general and justice minister in the Gambia and took part in negotiations on the treaty that set up the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas).

Bensouda is considered more low-key than the frequently outspoken Moreno-Ocampo, an Argentine who made his name prosecuting former senior members of the country's junta, for rights abuses.

The chief prosecutor requires supreme diplomatic and managerial skills as well as organising investigations.

"The ICC prosecutor is one of the most important jobs in this new century in ending impunity for the worst crimes under international law," said William Pace of the Coalition for the International Criminal Court, which brings together hundreds of civil groups that support the court.

Bensouda will have to be "a legal superwoman," according to Singh of Human Rights Watch.

"You need someone who understands the demands of acting independently and with impartiality on an international stage to put forward the needs of justice and the needs of victims at times when it may not always be convenient for the international community," she told AFP.

Read more on:    international criminal court  |  fatou bensouda  |  gambia  |  west africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/World
 

The truth about painkillers and exercise

Many of us use painkillers and anti-inflammatory medicines to mask pain so they can continue with their training.

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Where were you when you last felt alive?
Watch: Fishing under ice
This all-terrain vehicle is badass!
This is why you need to get fit in your 20's

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Deal of the week!

Save R1200 on the Samsung 48” smart full HD LED television now only R8799. Buy now!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing prices – As seen on TV

Get mind blowing prices on 1000’s of products! Shop now.

Save 20% on Nivea beauty products!

Buy any two Nivea beauty products and save 20%. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R1000 on electronics!

Get mind blowing savings on top electronic products. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be spending too much time organising and trying to control things to make sure everything is perfect instead of just...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.