7 Feb 2018 - NPWJ News Digest on international criminal justice


How Guatemala is Choosing Its Next Attorney General
By International Justice Monitor, 07 Feb 2018

 Guatemala is in the process of selecting its next attorney general to serve a four-year term: May 2018-May 2022. Because the process and result could have tremendous implications for grave crimes trials and the rule of law in Guatemala, the International Justice Monitor will be providing regular situation reports. Today, we provide an explanation of the process itself.

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Assad Is Still Using Chemical Weapons in Syria
By The Atlantic, 06 Feb 2018

 UN investigators are looking into reports the Syrian regime used chemical weapons on at least two rebel-held towns in recent days. The reports mark at least the sixth time the regime of President Bashar Assad has used such weapons against civilian population centers. The UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria said Tuesday it had received multiple reports “that bombs allegedly containing weaponized chlorine have been used in the town of Saraqeb in Idlib and Douma in eastern Ghouta.” The allegation is likely to further increase tensions between the U.S. and Russia at the UN Security Council, where both countries are permanent, veto-wielding members. The U.S. complains that Russia, which backs the Assad regime, blocks any meaningful action against the Syrian leader’s use of internationally prohibited weapons.

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Mladic Seeks Conviction Annulment Due to ‘Mild Dementia’
By Balkan Insight, 05 Feb 2018

 Mladic’s defence lawyers on Monday asked the judges at the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals in The Hague quash the verdict handed down in November last year and suspend the proceedings against the former Bosnian Serb Army commander because of his health problems. Defence lawyers Branko Lukic and Dragan Ivetic cited an expert opinion from a Serbian doctor, Gorica Djokic, who examined Mladic and said that he “could not be considered capable of following the proceedings” during the trial in The Hague and at the moment his verdict was delivered.

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Libya: Displaced Benghazi Families Prevented From Return
By Human Rights Watch , 01 Feb 2018

(Beirut) – Armed groups in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi are preventing thousands of internally displaced families from returning to their homes in that city, Human Rights Watch said today. The armed groups, some loyal to Libyan National Army forces (LNA), accuse the families broadly of “terrorism” or “supporting terrorism.” The LNA, headed by General Khalifa Hifter, is allied with one of two authorities vying for legitimacy and territorial control in Libya. Since May 2014, when Hiftar announced the start of Operation Dignity to root out “terrorists” from Benghazi, an estimated 13,000 families have fled Benghazi for elsewhere in Libya or abroad. Displaced people interviewed by Human Rights Watch said LNA-linked groups have seized their property and tortured, forcibly disappeared, and arrested family members who remained in the city. If proven such attacks on civilians would amount to violations of the laws of war. If committed with criminal intent, they would be war crimes.

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