04 April 2018 - NPWJ News Digest on International Criminal Justice


UN-based investigation unit claims possession of overwhelming evidence of war crimes in Syria
By Jurist, 04 Apr 2018

The International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism to Assist in the Investigation and Prosecution of Persons Responsible for the Most Serious Crimes under International Law Committed in the Syrian Arab Republic since March 2011 (IIIM), a UN quasi-prosecutorial body, issued a report [text, PDF] last week stating that they have compiled an "overwhelming volume of ... videos and other images" representing evidence of atrocities committed by all sides in the Syria war.

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Germany prosecutors file extradition request for former Catalan president
By Reuters, 04 Apr 2018

BERLIN (Reuters) - German prosecutors filed a request to a regional court on Tuesday for the extradition of former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont to Spain, where he faces charges of rebellion over the region’s campaign for independence. The move is a further blow to Puigdemont, who has been held in prison in the northern German town of Neumuenster for just over a week after being arrested in Germany on March 25 soon after crossing the border from Denmark. Puigdemont is being held in normal prison conditions, along with other suspected criminals, according to people who have visited the former Catalan president.

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The Legacy of Ríos Montt, Guatemala’s Most Notorious War Criminal
By International Justice Monitor, 03 Apr 2018

Guatemala’s most notorious dictator, retired army general José Efraín Ríos Montt, died last Sunday of a heart attack at the age of 91. Ríos Montt came to power in a military coup d’état on March 23, 1982. He was deposed just 17 months later, on August 7, 1983, in a military coup orchestrated by his Minister of Defense, Oscar Humberto Mejía Víctores. Guatemala experienced extremely high levels of violence during its 36-year internal armed conflict. An estimated 200,000 people were killed, 45,000 disappeared, and tens of thousands forcibly displaced or exiled, along with countless victims of torture and sexual violence. According to the UN sponsored Historical Clarification Commission (CEH), Ríos Montt continued and amplified the scorched-earth policy designed and implemented by his predecessor, Romeo Lucas García (1978-1982). 

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Situation in Mali: Al Hassan Ag Abdoul Aziz Ag Mohamed Ag Mahmoud surrendered to the ICC on charges of crimes against humanity and war crimes in Timbuktu
By ICC, 31 Mar 2018

Today, 31 March 2018, Mr Al Hassan Ag Abdoul Aziz Ag Mohamed Ag Mahmoud ("Mr Al Hassan") was surrendered to the International Criminal Court ("ICC", "Court") by the Malian authorities and arrived at the Court's detention centre in the Netherlands. Mr Al Hassan is suspected, according to a warrant of arrest issued by Pre‑Trial Chamber I of the ICC on 27 March 2018, of war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly committed in 2012 and 2013 in Timbuktu, Mali. The ICC Registrar, Herman von Hebel, thanked the authorities of Mali and of the host State, the Netherlands, for their cooperation in this matter. The Chamber is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds to believe that a non‑international armed conflict began in January 2012 and remained ongoing in Mali throughout the period of the alleged events. During that period, from the beginning of April 2012 to 17 January 2013, the city of Timbuktu was allegedly under the control of the armed groups Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb ("AQIM") and Ansar Eddine, a primarily Tuareg movement associated with AQIM. Mr Al Hassan is alleged to have played a prominent role in the commission of crimes and religious and gender‑based persecution by those armed groups against the civilian population of Timbuktu.

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