13 September 2017 - NPWJ News Digest on international criminal justice

Articles

ICC President calls for more Pacific States to join the ICC at 48th Pacific Islands Forum
By International Criminal Court, 11 Sep 2017

The President of the International Criminal Court ("ICC" or "Court"), Judge Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi, has completed a mission to the 48th Pacific Islands Forum in Apia, Samoa, where she addressed leaders of the 18-member organisation and called for enhanced support for the Court in the Pacific region.  "I was deeply honoured to attend the annual gathering of leaders from this unique region", said the ICC President. "I am grateful to the government of Samoa for inviting me, and in particular to the Prime Minister, H.E. Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi, the current Chair of the Pacific Islands Forum, for his strong support of the Court." 
 

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Commission calls for fines as European Court of Justice hears case over illegal logging in Bialowieza Forest
By ClientEarth, 11 Sep 2017

 he Commission has today called on the EU’s most senior judges to impose fines on the Polish side for illegal logging in Bialowieza Forest. The news came as the European Court of Justice was deliberating whether an emergency ban on logging in Białowieża Forest should be upheld, with the verdict expected in the next few days. The EU Court issued an emergency ban on logging in Białowieża Forest on 27 July 2017, saying all chainsaws and harvesters must be stopped immediately. The Polish Environment Minister was the first in the history of the European Union to not only ignore the interim measures imposed by the EU’s highest Court, but to declare his intention openly, immediately after the ban was ordered. ClientEarth lawyer Agata Szafraniuk said: “Minister Szyszko openly ignored this interim measure. This unprecedented flouting of a direct order has never happened before in the history of the EU.

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Gbagbo allies behind attacks in Ivory Coast - interior minister
By The Times of India, 07 Sep 2017

A group of allies of Ivory Coast's former president Laurent Gbagbo, including at least one living in exile in neighbouring Ghana, are behind a wave of attacks on security installations this year, the interior minister said on Thursday. Gbagbo was captured in April 2011 and is on trial before the International Criminal Court on war crimes charges, but many of his allies have been pardoned.

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Ntaganda Maintains That He Did Not Kill a Priest
By International Justice Monitor , 07 Sep 2017

Former Congolese rebel commander Bosco Ntaganda has continued to deny the prosecution’s accusation that he killed priest Boniface Bwanalonga during an ethnic conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in 2002. Giving evidence in his own defense at the International Criminal Court (ICC), Ntaganda also denied giving orders to his troops to rape three nuns who were arrested together with Bwanalonga. According to Ntaganda, the priest was arrested during field operations by fighters from the Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC) in the town of Mongbwalu. Three nuns in the priest’s company at the time of his arrest purportedly volunteered to escort him to the militia group’s camp.  “They refused to leave the priest when he was arrested in the bush and decided to remain close to him,” he said.
 

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Victim Participation in The Special Tribunal for Lebanon Fuels Reflections on International Criminal Law and the Lebanese Justice System
By International Justice Monitor , 07 Sep 2017

On August 28, 2017, the Trial Chamber of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) began hearing the case of the victims in the Ayyash et al. trial. The accused are charged with conspiracy to commit a terrorist act for their alleged role in a February 14, 2005 bombing in Beirut that injured 226 people and killed former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and 21 others. The victims’ case is expected to continue until September 8, 2017 and present evidence of the harm suffered by the 72 victims participating in the trial. This is the first time that an  international criminal law tribunal addresses the crime of terrorism, and therefore the first time that victims of terrorism will present their case before an international tribunal.
 

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