International Justice Monitor

A project of the Open Society Justice Initiative

Entretien avec le procureur Fatou Bensouda sur la peine de M. Bemba, sur le rôle dissuasif des condamnations de la CPI et sur les mesures destinées à améliorer l’efficacité du Bureau du Procureur

Au début du mois, le procureur de la Cour pénale internationale Fatou Bensouda a répondu aux questions d’International Justice Monitor. Elle a parlé de la peine de prison de 18 ans prononcée à l’encontre de Jean-Pierre Bemba, de la manière dont les condamnations de M. Bemba et M. Lubanga pouvaient avoir un rôle dissuasif ainsi que des défis qui accompagnent l’instruction et la poursuite des auteurs de crimes pour de nombreuses charges comme dans l’affaire de Bosco Ntaganda et de Dominic Ongwen. Le procureur a également évoqué les efforts de son bureau pour qu’il soit plus efficace.

Wairagala Wakabi :Du point de vue du Bureau du Procureur (BdP), quelle est la signification de la condamnation de M. Bemba ?

Fatou Bensouda : Le verdict envoie un message fort … Continue Reading

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Nouveaux rebondissements dans l’affaire Habré : recours en appel de la défense et examen des demandes de réparation des victimes

Cet article a été écrit par El Hadji Alioune Seck, associé du programme de justice pénale internationale de TrustAfrica. Les opinions exprimées ci-dessous ne reflètent pas nécessairement les vues de l’Open Society Justice Initiative.

Le 30 mai 2016, les Chambres africaines extraordinaires au sein des tribunaux sénégalais (CAE) ont condamné à la réclusion à perpétuité l’ancien président tchadien Hissène Habré, reconnu coupable de crimes contre l’humanité, viol et esclavage sexuel commis entre 1982 et 1990 au Tchad. Cette décision tombe suite à un procès en première instance qui s’est officiellement ouvert à Dakar le 20 juillet 2015 pour connaitre son épilogue le 12 février 2016 avec les plaidoiries des avocats des deux parties et le réquisitoire du parquet.

Lors du prononcé du verdict, le juge G. Kam, Président de la Cour, avait également … Continue Reading

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New Developments in the Habré Case: Defense Appeal and Reparations under Examination

This guest post is written by El Hadji Alioune Seck, Program Associate with the International Criminal Justice Fund at TrustAfrica. The views expressed below do not necessarily reflect the views of the Open Society Justice Initiative.

On May 30, 2016, the Extraordinary African Chambers within the Senegalese Courts (EAC) sentenced former Chadian President Hissène Habré to life imprisonment. The court found him guilty of crimes against humanity, rape, and sexual slavery committed between 1982 and 1990 in Chad. This decision followed a trial that officially opened in Dakar on July, 20 2015 and came to an end on February 12, 2016 with submissions of final conclusions by both parties and the final indictment by the prosecutor.

While delivering the verdict, Presiding Judge Gustave G. Kam … Continue Reading

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Q&A With Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda on Bemba Sentence, ICC Convictions as Deterrents, and Moves to Improve Efficiency of the Prosecutor’s Office

Earlier this month, International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda answered questions from International Justice Monitor. She spoke about the 18-year jail term handed to Jean-Pierre Bemba, how the Bemba and Thomas Lubanga convictions could act as deterrents, and the challenges that come with investigating and prosecuting numerous charges such as in the case of Bosco Ntaganda and Dominic Ongwen. The prosecutor also discusses what her office is doing to become more efficient.

Wairagala Wakabi (WW): In the view of the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP), what is the significance of the Bemba conviction?

Fatou Bensouda (FB): The verdict sends a strong message to all commanders around the world: you will be criminally responsible for atrocity crimes of subordinate troops if you fail … Continue Reading

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Guatemala Grave Crimes Cases Delayed

While a Guatemalan court has found sufficient evidence to bring the CREOMPAZ case to trial, aspects of its decision have been challenged by plaintiffs. The proceedings are on stand-by until the appeals are decided. In the Molina Theissen case, the hearing to determine whether the case goes to trial has again been delayed; this time because the case will be transferred to the High Risk Tribunal system. The Maya Ixil genocide case also remains stalled as defense counsel for former chief of intelligence José Manuel Rodríguez Sánchez appeals the recent decision to separate the proceedings against him and co-defendant former dictator José Efraín Ríos Montt.

These delays unfolded amidst a controversy that arose after President Jimmy Morales announced that the annual … Continue Reading

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Al Faqi Trial to Start on August 22

Trial judges of the International Criminal Court (ICC) have ordered the trial of Malian Islamic rebel leader Ahmed al Faqi al Mahdi to start on August 22.

Al Faqi has been charged with a single war crime for completely or partially destroying historic buildings in the northern Mali city of Timbuktu. The charge covers the period June 30, 2012 to July 11, 2012 and nine mausoleums and the door to a mosque that were destroyed during that time.

The judges of Trial Chamber VIII said they chose August 22 to start al Faqi’s trial to allow the parties to make preparations for witnesses they intend to call to testify. The chamber also said in their June 1 decision that they chose the … Continue Reading

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Reactions to the Conviction of Hissène Habré: A Historic Moment for Justice

This article was written by Roxane Cassehgari, an Aryeh Neieir Fellow with the Open Society Justice Initiative.

On Monday, May 30, the judges of the Extraordinary African Chambers (EAC) delivered a guilty verdict against Hissène Habré, former Chadian president, for crimes committed from 1982 to 1990 during his repressive regime. The trial started on July 20, 2015 and concluded in February 2016. Habré was convicted of crimes against humanity, war crimes, summary execution, torture, and rape. The trial revealed Habré’s instructions to systematically use torture – very often leading to killings – and sexual violence on political prisoners held in secret detention centers, like the infamous Maison D’Arrêt. Notably, Habré is the first former head of State to be tried and … Continue Reading

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Defense and Prosecution Ask for Mali Trial to Start in August

Both the defense and prosecution have asked trial judges to start the International Criminal Court (ICC) trial of Malian Islamic rebel leader Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi in late August or early September.

A trial date was one of the issues discussed during a status conference Trial Chamber VIII held on May 24. The purpose of the status conference was for the judges to ask questions on the submissions the defense and prosecution made last week. The two parties made a joint written submission on May 19 following an order by Trial Chamber VIII’s Single Judge Raul C. Pangalangan. The joint submission was filed under confidential cover, but Judge Pangalangan, the defense, and prosecution referred to parts of it during the … Continue Reading

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Podcast: Bringing Hissène Habré to Trial

On May 30, trial judges at the Extraordinary African Chambers in Senegal are due to deliver their verdict in the trial of Hissène Habré—the first time a former African leader has been held to account for atrocity crimes before a court in another African country.

Habré, who has refused to recognize the authority of the court, is facing charges of war crimes, torture, and crimes against humanity, arising from his eight years in power, from 1982 to 1990. The special court in Senegal where he is on trial was set up with the support of the African Union, and which is presided over by Gberdao Gustave Kam from Burkina Faso, with two Senegalese judges alongside.

You can learn more about the story … Continue Reading

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Judges Want to Start Trial of Malian Islamic Rebel Leader in Mid-June

Judges of the International Criminal Court (ICC) have said they are inclined to begin in mid-June the trial of Malian Islamic rebel leader Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi, whose single war crime charge was confirmed about two months ago.

Judge Raul C. Pangalangan, the single judge of Trial Chamber VIII, said this in an order  scheduling a status conference for Tuesday next week . The May 24 status conference is the first one Trial Chamber VIII will be holding since it was formed to handle al Faqi’s trial.

Al Faqi’s trial is taking place after Pre-Trial Chamber I confirmed on March 24 a single war crimes charge against him for completely or partially destroying historic buildings in the northern Mali city of … Continue Reading

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