International Justice Monitor

A project of the Open Society Justice Initiative

Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi Plans to Return to Libya’s Political Life

Late last year, news emerged that Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi, the son of the former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, is planning to be a candidate in the upcoming Libyan presidential election. According to Basem al-Hashemi al-Soul, who spoke on Saif Gaddafi’s behalf, “Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the son of the former Libyan president, enjoys the support of major tribes in Libya so he can run for the upcoming presidential elections due in 2018.”

This is a new twist in the story of Saif Gaddafi, who is also wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on two counts of crimes against humanity for murder and persecution relating to the violent 2011 uprising in Libya. The ICC issued the arrest warrant for Saif Gaddafi on … Continue Reading

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The Georgian Experience: A Story of How the ICC is Failing Victims in its First Case Outside Africa

This commentary is written by Nika Jeiranashvili, Executive Director of Justice International, and is a reflection of his prior years of experience working to bridge the gap between victims of the 2008 conflict in Georgia and the International Criminal Court. The views and opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Open Society Justice Initiative. 

Before the ICC

It was about three years ago when I first heard rumors about the International Criminal Court (ICC) opening a formal investigation into crimes allegedly committed during the 2008 conflict between Georgia and Russia. (The matter had already been subject to a preliminary examination by ICC Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) since 2008.)  At the time, I was working … Continue Reading

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Liberian War Criminal Jungle Jabbah Sentenced to 30 Years’ Imprisonment

On April 19, 2018, notorious Liberian war criminal Mohammed Jabbateh was sentenced to 30 years’ imprisonment by a federal court in Philadelphia after being convicted of immigration-related crimes in the U.S.  The final judgment in this case comes two years after Jabbateh was first indicted on charges of committing fraud in his U.S. immigration documents and perjuring himself during his immigration interviews with U.S. officials by falsely denying his criminal activities as a high-ranking rebel commander during the first Liberian Civil War in the early 1990s.

Although the federal court convicted Jabbateh of immigration crimes and not war crimes, per se, a conviction nevertheless required prosecutors to establish that Jabbateh had committed unimaginable war crimes and atrocities in Liberia in order … Continue Reading

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Former Malian Islamist Fighter Al Hassan Makes Initial Appearance at the ICC

On Wednesday, April 4, Al Hassan Ag Abdoul Aziz Ag Mohamed Ag Mahmoud, the Malian national accused of religious and gender‑based persecution, made his initial appearance before a pre-trial judge of the International Criminal Court (ICC). The main purpose of the appearance, which was held at the seat of the court in The Hague, was to confirm Al Hassan’s identity and to ascertain that he understands the charges against him.

Al Hassan, 40, was transferred to the ICC detention center on March 31, 2018, four days after judges issued a warrant for his arrest. Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda praised the West African country of Mali – a member of the ICC – for cooperating with the court by swiftly surrendering the accused.

The … Continue Reading

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Appeals Chamber Slightly Amends Reparations Order in Al Mahdi Case

The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has said the identity of individual victims applying for reparations in the case of Malian Islamic leader Ahmad al Faqi al Mahdi does not need to be disclosed to the convicted war criminal.

In a judgement issued on Thursday, the Appeals Chamber said the identity of those victims seeking reparations needs to be disclosed to the Trust Fund for Victims (TFV), which has been delegated responsibility of implementing the reparations order Trial Chamber VIII issued in August last year.

“The Appeals Chamber notes that Mr Al Mahdi’s interests at this stage of the proceedings are limited. The Trial Chamber has already set Mr Al Mahdi’s monetary liability and, as argued by the LRV … Continue Reading

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Libyan Commander, Wanted by the ICC, is Released the Day After His Surrender

Libyan army commander Mahmoud al-Werfalli, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC), was freed one day after reports of his alleged surrender to military police of the Libyan National Army (LNA) in eastern Libya. On February 8, a spokesperson from the LNA said in a television interview that the military police had released al-Werfalli on bail, adding that the LNA is not considering handing him over to the ICC at all.

Al-Werfalli is a commander of the Saiqa Brigade, a unit attached to the LNA that controls large parts of eastern Libya. He came into the spotlight after the ICC issued a warrant for his arrest in August 2017. The warrant accuses him of a having a direct role … Continue Reading

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The Kavumu Trial: Complementarity in Action in the Democratic Republic of Congo

On December 13, 2017, in a landmark decision, a military court in South Kivu convicted 11 Congolese militia members of murder and rape as crimes against humanity. The court, which was deployed as a “mobile court” in the village of Kavumu, found that the accused constituted an armed group controlled by provincial lawmaker Frederic Batumike that had carried out the rapes of 40 young girls. All 11 men, including Batumike, were sentenced to life imprisonment.

This was the first time in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) that a sitting parliamentarian was found guilty for crimes under international law. This judgment also brought closure to a case that spanned almost five years and came to epitomize the scourge of sexual violence … Continue Reading

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Vues de l’Ituri: Absence de réparation ou d’assistance pour les victimes de Nyankunde

Cet article a été préparé par notre partenaire Radio Canal Révélation, une station radio basée à Bunia, en République démocratique du Congo (RDC), dans le cadre d’un projet de radio interactive pour la justice et la paix qui favorise la mise en débat des questions touchant à la justice en RDC. Les vues de la population relayées dans cet article sont celles des personnes interviewées et ne représentent pas forcément les vues de tous les membres de la communauté ni celles des victimes.

Des centaines de victimes au nord-est de la République démocratique du Congo (RDC) se disent délaissées et découragées faute d’’assistance dans la localité de Nyankunde, complètement détruite lors de l’attaque deseptembre 2002 qui a causé la mort de … Continue Reading

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Views from Ituri: Lack of Compensation or Assistance for the Victims of Nyankunde

This article was prepared by our partner Radio Canal Révélation, a radio station based in Bunia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), as part of an interactive radio project on justice and peace which encourages a debate on issues related to justice in the DRC. The views conveyed in this article belong to the people interviewed and do not necessarily represent the views of all the community members, or those of the victims.

Hundreds of victims in the northeast of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) say that they feel abandoned and discouraged because of the lack of assistance in the village of Nyankunde, which was completely destroyed in the attack of … Continue Reading

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ICC Judges Authorize Investigation Into Crimes in Burundi

Judges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) have authorized Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to initiate investigations into crimes committed in the central African country of Burundi over the last two and a half years.

Pre-Trial Chamber III first issued the authorization under seal on October 25. It was unveiled in a public redacted version yesterday, less than two weeks after Burundi’s withdrawal from the ICC on October 27. Judges determined that the court has jurisdiction over the crimes allegedly committed in that country while Burundi was a State Party, from December 1, 2004 through October 26, 2017.

Burundi fell into turmoil in April 2015 when President Pierre Nkurunziza’s government quelled a coup attempt that followed his decision to stand for a third term … Continue Reading

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