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ICC Prosecutor Says UN Shouldn't Deal With Sudan Minister, Kenyans to The Hague

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 12 -- Moments after Fatou Bensouda was unanimously elected to succeed Luis Moreno Ocampo as chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Inner City Press asked her if she thought the UN should have flown ICC indictee Ahmed Haroun in a UN helicopter, and if it should engage with Sudan's defense minister, recently indicted for war crimes by the ICC. Video here, from Minute 19:57.

  "They should be isolated," Ms. Bensouda said. "There are other people in the government the UN could deal with. Especially with respect to this one, where there was a Security Council referral, the UN should not be dealing with them directly."

  So, Inner City Press asked, was the UN flying Haroun in a helicopter a mistake?

  "I think we made our objections known," Bensouda answered.

But the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations, run for the fourth time in a row by a Frenchman, Herve Ladsous, has said that the Defense Minister is the Defense Minister, who must be engaged with in pursuit of the mandates of the UNAMID and UNISFA missions. So did the ICC make its position on international law clear to Ban Ki-moon's UN?

Inner City Press also asked Bensouda about Yemen and Kenya. Video here, from Minute 8:10. On Yemen, she said that Ali Saleh being subject to indictment depends on the timing of Yemen joining the ICC in the future. So even for crimes committee this year, could Saleh have immunity?

(c) UN Photo
Fatou Bensouda on Dec 12, action on Sri Lankan dual citizens not shown

On Kenya, Inner City Press asked how she would proceed against the "Ocampo Six," and if she thinks that trial in The Hague would make violence more or less likely after the next elections.

Bensouda endorsed Ocampo's approach, and said that due to problems is witness protection if trials were held in Kenya, her move is to hold the trials in The Hague.

Inner City Press' was the last question; no more were allowed. One would have liked to ask if witness protection wouldn't similarly be a problem in Libya. And how Bensouda will proceed against alleged war criminals with dual citizenship, one both a party and a non-party, such as several people responsible for war crimes in Sri Lanka. Next time. Watch this site.

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Click here for Sept 23, '11 about UN General Assembly

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These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

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