No external inquiry at the International Court

No external inquiry at the International Court

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has turned down the demands for an external review of misconduct.

Prosecutor of the Court, Mrs Fatou Bensouda says she will not initiate the sort of broad inquiry the Norwegian Helsinki Committee (NHC) has called for.

War crimes suspect

Reports in several news media suggested that former chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo, was paid to pass sensitive information to a possible war crimes suspect in Libya as well as maintaining an improper relationship with former colleagues at the ICC.

“These serious allegations could threaten the credibility of the International Court, weaken future investigations and prosecutions, undermining its role as a custodian of justice for victims of international crimes", says Gunnar Ekeløve-Slydal, Assistant Secretary General at the NHC.

"Unnecessary"

Therefore, NHC called for a transparent and broad inquiry by external experts in a letter to Mrs Bensouda of 12 March. The Prosecutor of the Court has now responded: 

“In sum, I believe my staff and I have made every effort to learn from past experience, Bensouda says in the letter where she outlines comprehensive measures taken to improve the functioning of the ICC Office of the Prosecutor:  

“ I am of the respectful view that the sort of broad inquiry you call for is unnecessary considering the steps the Office itself has taken, what we are already accomplishing and have put in place.”

In its response to the letter, the NHC notes that Mrs Bensouda fails to address the most serious media allegations concerning the first Prosecutor of the ICC. An inquiry into possible misconduct by persons who are no longer members of the ICC falls outside the mandate of the internal oversight mechanisms of the Court, and therefore there is a need for external inquiries. 

Background

22 May letter from Mrs Fatou Bensouda, Prosecutor of the ICC to Mr Bjørn Engesland, Secretary General, and Mr Gunnar M. Ekelove-Slydal, Deputy Secretary General:

Last ned filLetter from ICC(1 921kb)

8 June letter from the Norwegian Helsinki Comnmittee to Mrs Fatou Bensouda, Prosecutor of the ICC:

Last ned filLetter to Mrs Fatou Bensouda ICC Prosecutor01.pdf(545kb)