05 Feb 2020 - NPWJ News Digest on International Criminal Justice


International Court Gathering Evidence in Rohingya Case
By The New York Times, 04 Feb 2020

DHAKA, Bangladesh — Investigators from the International Criminal Court have begun collecting evidence for a case involving alleged crimes against humanity by Myanmar against Rohingya Muslims causing them to flee to neighboring Bangladesh, a court official said Tuesday. Phakiso Mochochoko, director of the Jurisdiction, Complementary and Cooperation Division of the ICC Office of the Prosecutor, said a team of investigators is visiting Rohingya refugee camps to collect evidence. He said justice will be delivered whether Myanmar cooperates or not.

Read More

Statement of the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court as delivered at the press conference in Dhaka, Bangladesh
By ReliefWeb, 04 Feb 2020

Ladies and Gentlemen, we welcome you to today's press conference and thank you for your interest in the activities of the International Criminal Court (the "ICC" or the "Court"). My name is Phakiso Mochochoko, and I am the Director of Jurisdiction, Complementary and Cooperation Division of the ICC Office of the Prosecutor. This is not the first delegation that ICC Prosecutor, Mrs Fatou Bensouda, has sent to Bangladesh to explain the Court's judicial process to the wider public. You will recall that my colleague, Deputy Prosecutor, Mr James Stewart, was here in July last year, but this is the first such visit by her Office since the opening of a formal investigation. In November 2019, ICC Judges granted Prosecutor Bensouda's request to open a full investigation into alleged atrocity crimes committed against the Rohingya within the jurisdiction of the Court (see also the Prosecutor's statement following the Judges' authorisation). 

Read More

Rohingya genocide case: why it will be hard for Myanmar to comply with ICJ’s orders
By The Conversation, 31 Jan 2020

Myanmar was ordered to “take all measures within its power” to prevent any further acts of violence against the Rohingya in late January by the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The court is considering a case brought by the Gambia accusing Myanmar of violating the 1948 Convention on Genocide against the Rohingya, a minority ethnic group. The court has not yet determined whether violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state in 2016-17 constitutes genocidal intent by Myanmar’s authorities, nor who should be prosecuted. But under the court’s “provisional measures”, Myanmar is expected to submit to regular reporting to the court within four months, and then every six months. 

Read More

Government Says Gbagbo’s Return Would Destabilize the Ivory Coast
By International Justice Monitor, 31 Jan 2020

The government of the Ivory Coast has said that it opposes former president Laurent Gbagbo’s unconditional release by the International Criminal Court (ICC) because his return would destabilize the west African country. In a January 21, 2020 filing to judges considering whether Gbagbo should be released unconditionally, lawyers for the Ivorian government noted that the former president had, through his lawyers, expressed his desire to return to his home country.  The government lawyers added that Gbagbo’s return home before judges rule on an appeal against his acquittal would place the Ivory Coast in the same troubled state that motivated the referral of the situation in that country to the ICC. They asked the court not to take that risk.

Read More

Guatemalan Man Wanted in the Maya Achi Sexual Violence Case Arrested
By International Justice Monitor, 29 Jan 2020

Francisco Cuxum Alvarado, 64, was deported to Guatemala on Wednesday after having been convicted last December for illegal reentry into the United States. Cuxum Alvarado, who is wanted in relation to the Maya Achi sexual violence case, was immediately arrested by authorities. Cuxum Alvarado is accused of crimes against humanity and aggravated sexual assault in a case brought by 36 Maya Achi women. Last August, the pretrial judge originally assigned to the case, Claudette Domínguez, dismissed the charges against six former member of the civil defense patrols (PACs) accused in this case and ordered their release. Three others, among them Cuxum Alvarado, remained at large, until now.

Read More