Connect with us

Politics

William Ruto’s lawyer Karim Khan elected ICC chief prosecutor

Published

on

   

British QC has been elected as the new chief prosecutor for the international criminal court in an election by the court’s 131 member states at the UN in New York. Karim Khan will replace Fatou Bensouda from the Gambia, and as he starts his nine-year term he faces a daunting task trying to secure more convictions and spread acceptance of the court’s jurisdiction across the globe.

The secret ballot for the post was the first in the court’s history – and took place amid some controversy and high politics between member states.

Khan, 50, beat candidates from Ireland, Spain and Italy to win on a second round of voting with support from 72 nations – 10 more than the 62 needed.

Khan was called to the English bar in 1992, and has promised to reform the prosector’s office to make it more efficient. He is regarded as a tough, fiercely clever advocate, and was appointed in 2018 by the UN secretary general, António Guterres, to lead the UN team investigating international crimes committed by Isis.

The first task of the third prosecutor in the ICC’s short history will be to try to secure more convictions and so increase the court’s legitimacy among the many member states that refuse to recognise its jurisdiction – including the US, Russia and China. The court has also faced skepticism in Africa as leaders from that continent have increasingly become the sole focus of the Hague-based court.

Karim had not originally been on the shortlist for the post and was added partly at the insistence of the Kenyan government. Karim had controversially acted as defence counsel for the Kenyan vice-president, William Ruto, when he was charged with crimes against humanity following post-election violence in 2007 that led to 1,200 people being killed.

The charges were dropped in 2016 by the ICC after what was described as “troubling incidence of witness interference and intolerable political meddling”. One key witness was killed in December 2014. Khan recently wrote an open letter detailing how he did all possible to prevent intimidation by ensuring the individual was put under witness protection, and then seeking an inquiry.

By the start of this week it looked as if Khan would be chosen by consensus, the ICC’s preferred method of appointment, when last-minute objections came in from Spain and Mauritius.

The objections came from Mauritius focused less on Karim as an individual, but that he was nominated by the British government. Mauritius had been infuriated that UK ministers had for a second time said they had no need to abide by rulings of international UN courts in the dispute over its sovereignty of the Chagos Islands in the Indian Ocean.

Karim will have to decide the next steps on the investigation into war crimes in Afghanistan, and the contentious investigation into the 2014 Israel-Palestinian conflict in Gaza. The European parliament this week called for a worldwide ban on arms sales to Saudi Arabia, also called for an ICC war crimes investigation into the civil war in Yemen.

The administration of the then US president Donald Trump hit Bensouda and another senior ICC official last year with sanctions including a travel ban and an asset freeze over the inquiry, which includes alleged US war crimes in Afghanistan.

Israel – which is also not an ICC member – has strongly opposed the inquiry into alleged war crimes by Israeli forces and Palestinian armed groups.

ICC judges, however, ruled last week that the court had jurisdiction over Palestine, paving the way for a full investigation after a five-year preliminary inquiry opened by Bensouda.

 

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Politics

Supreme Court of Somalia to hear election-related cases

Published

on

Somali judicial officers at a past training
   

The Supreme Court of Somalia announced it will hear cases related to elections. Chief Justice Bashe Yusuf Ahmed said it would be illegal for the federal and state governments not to allow the courts to adjudicate over election cases.

“The Supreme Court is ready to hear any appeal that arises from an administrative decision made by the electoral commissions,” Bashe said.

Bashe was speaking at a judicial conference held in Mogadishu.

The Horn of Africa nation is preparing for parliamentary and peesidential elections in September and October respectively.

Somalia has no constitutional court but there is an electoral dispute resolution committee.

Continue Reading

Race for Villa Somalia

Former foreign minister joins race for Villa Somalia

Published

on

   

Former Foreign minister Fawzia Adam becomes the firs female candidate to announce her candidature for Somalia presidency. Fawzia, who became Somalia’s first and only woman foreign minister and Deputy Prime Minister in 2012, said she is joining the race for Villa Somalia to change the course of the country’s politics. More than 30 other candidates have expressed their interest for the top job. She leads the National Democratic Party.

“My sole aim is to breath a new lease of life into Somalia. Our political ideology and believes are at the heart and soul of our political trajectory in deciding the best way Forward for my nation,” Fawzia said.

“Our people are known for their dynamism, resilience and fruitful thinking when it comes to business. If they are encouraged, the country will surely get rapid development and investment,” she added.

She is running on an anti-corruption platform. Fawzia hails from Somaliland. The Horn of Africa nation will hold presidential elections on October 10.

As foreign minister, Fawzia was instrumental in Somalia’s quest to recover state properties that had been frozen by foreign administrations, institutions and firms after the collapse of Somalia’s central government in 1991 in order to prevent unauthorized use,  and began a formal assessment and recovery process of Somali national assets, which include ships and planes that are believed to be held in Italy, Germany and Yemen.

Continue Reading

Politics

Farmajo congratulation Abiy Ahmed on his election victory

Published

on

President Farmajo (right) and Ethiopian Premier Abiy Aed at a past event
   

Somali President Mohamed Farmaajo has congratulated Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed whose party won the just-concluded elections in Ethiopia.

Somalia will continue to work with the government of Abiy Ahmed to further strengthen bilateral relations and benefit peoples of the two countries and the wider region, Farmajo said in a statement. 

“I warmly congratulate PM Abiy Ahmed on regaining a strong mandate from the people of Ethiopia,” Farmaajo said.

Abiy’s new Prosperity Party won 410 out of 436 seats, according to electoral body.

Ethiopia has thousands of troops in Somalia under Amisom, the African Union Mission in Somalia, fighting al Shabab group. Since assuming office in 2018, Abiy has been supportive of the Somali Federal Government unlike his predecessors who supported regional administrations against the government in Mogadishu.

Continue Reading

Trending

About
The Frontier is for the people — not the politicians, lobbysts and the powerful. We provide indepth and thoughtful analysis of what is happening around your world. We tell exclusive stories that matter to our audience, so they make better decisions and understand what is real.
Privacy Policy
The Frontier is committed to putting its users first. We strive to be transparent about how we collect and use your data and information, to keep them secure and to provide you meaningful choices. This Privacy Policy is meant to help you understand what information we collect, why we collect it and what we do with it

Copyright © 2017-2021 The Frontiere. All Rights Reserved. Design by Rick Consult