The International Criminal Court (ICC) says it hopes to challenge the historically entrenched standard of impunity for atrocious crimes that are committed across the world by people in responsible positions of power and influence.
According to the Court, the promise of the Rome Statute in 1998 and the treaty that bears its name, that never again will perpetrators -- irrespective of rank or status -- can escape justice for the world’s most egregious and destabilising crimes, are still fresh in their minds and will hold rigidly to it.
Addressing Journalist from West Africa Anglophone countries, ICC Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, was emphatic none that has committed crimes that have shocked the conscience of the world will escape the arms of the court.
She admits that not every person or group will back the work of the Court, but there is a firm belief that well-meaning people across the world who have vowed not to support impunity would support the ICC's operations to end impunity.
”We remain committed to our independent and impartial mandate under the Rome Statute, and will continue to honour our legal duty, undeterred,” she assured.
The ICC, according to her, believes deliberate attempts to undermine its credibility as well as well-funded or coordinated campaigns to spread fallacies and falsehoods are inevitable in their type of work but it hopes the support of the media to educate and disabuse the minds of people is key to making the world understand their operations.
“I am sure you might have read or seen about developments such as the acquittal and subsequent release with conditions of Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Ble Goude in relation to the situation in Cote d’Ivoire, or in the appearance of Alfred Yekatom and Patrice-Edouard Ngaisonna and subsequent scheduling of a confirmation hearing in the case emanating from more investigations in the Central African Republic,” she revealed.
The ICC is convinced disseminating truthful and factual information and making it accessible to affected communities, other stakeholders, and the public at large, the complex and intricate criminal processes are therefore critically important.
She says the court is undaunted by the recent public statement by the US Secretary of State announcing policy visa restrictions against ICC personnel.
There are currently ongoing trial proceedings against the Congolese warlord, Bosco Ntaganda, who is awaiting the verdict of the ICC judges, as well as against Domnic Ongwen, the Ugandan Lord’s Resistance Army brigade commander, whose defence is currently responding to the case presented by the prosecution.
Another case, that of Al-Hassan, relating to events in Timbuktu, Mali, is being prepared for a hearing starting the 6th of May, to confirm the charges brought against him by the Prosecutor’s office.
The Prosecutor’s office is still awaiting the Judge’s decision in response to our request to open investigation in Afghanistan, and we are advancing our preliminary examinations in countries such as Venezuela, Palestine, Ukraine, Myanmar/ Bangladesh and the Philippines.