Inner City Press

Inner City Press -- Investigative Reporting From the Inner City to Wall Street to the United Nations

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

  Search Search WWW (censored?)

In Other Media-eg AJE, FP, Georgia, NYT Azerbaijan, CSM Click here to contact us     .


Home -

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


Follow us on TWITTER

March 1, 2011: Libya

Video (new)

Support this work by buying this book

Click on cover for secure site orders

also includes "Toxic Credit in the Global Inner City"




Bank Beat

Freedom of Information

How to Contact Us

As France & US Talk ICC, Tainted by Judge Vote Swap and Loophole for Qatar

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, November 2 -- With the Security Council's referral of Libya to the International Criminal Court the subject of Council debate on Wednesday afternoon, France and the US among others gave speeches about their commitment to the ICC and accountability, respectively.

   But it has recently emerged that France offered to support an unqualified judge for the ICC in exchange for support for its current candidate Bruno Cathala -- click here for that story.

   Now the US' pushing in February for an exemption to the Libya ICC referral has been shown as more substantial than argued at the time by US Ambassador Susan Rice, by non ICC member Qatar's bragging that it had hundreds of "boots on the ground" in Libya during the conflict.

 While publicly calling for an end to impunity, the US at a Council experts' meeting on the morning of February 26, 2011 demanded the following paragraph:

6. Decides that nationals, current or former officials or personnel from a State outside the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya which is not a party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court shall be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of that State for all alleged acts or omissions arising out of or related to operations in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya established or authorized by the Council, unless such exclusive jurisdiction has been expressly waived by the State.

  When the resolution was adopted later that day -- after Security Council ambassadors quietly attended a Chinese circus before the 8 pm vote -- Inner City Press asked French Ambassador Gerard Araud about the paragraph.

  Araud said, “that was for one country, it was absolutely necessary for one country to have that considering its parliamentary constraints, and this country we are in. It was a red line for the United States. It was a deal-breaker, and that's the reason we accepted this text to have the unanimity of the Council.”

 That day, Inner City Press wrote a story with Araud's quote and the paragraph.

(c) UN Photo
On Nov. 2 in Tripoli, Ban Ki-moon & Jalil, plane Q not answered

 On March 1 outside the UN General Assembly, Inner City Press managed to ask US Ambassador Susan Rice:

Inner City Press: Can I ask you a question about the Security Council resolution? (inaudible) On the Security Council resolution that passed Saturday, some have now raised a question about the US asking for that paragraph six, which exempts Americans, and, I guess, others, anyone that's not an ICC member, from referral and prosecution by the ICC. They say it undercuts international law-Brazil said it, now the head of the Rome Statute grouping of member states said it. Why did the US ask for that? And don't you see a downside to saying there's no impunity if you are excluding people from referral?

Ambassador Rice: No, I don't see a downside. As you well know, the United States is not a party and we have thought it important, if we were going to, for the first time, affirmatively support such a resolution, to make sure that is was clear the limitations as to who jurisdiction applied to. That's why we supported that phrase. Your assertion and that of others that somehow this provides a pass for mercenaries, I think, is completely misplaced. I don't think that the International Criminal Court is going to spend its time and effort on foot soldiers that have been paid small amounts of money by Qadhafi. They're going to focus on the big fish, so I think your interest was misplaced.

  Counting on the ICC not to prosecute a certain size of killer seemed a bit strange.  Now with Qatar's admission, it is worse:

Qatar's military chief of staff Maj. Gen. Hamad bin Ali al-Atiya was quoted bragging, "We were among them and the numbers of Qataris on ground were hundreds in every region."

  He went further: "Training and communications had been in Qatari hands. Qatar … supervised the rebels' plans because they are civilians and did not have enough military experience. We acted as the link between the rebels and NATO forces."

   Also regarding France, on November 1 at the UN the Chairperson of the Working Group on Mercenaries Faiza Patel on UNTV told Inner City Press "you must be aware of  a French person killed, setting up a private security company" in Benghazi.

   Yes -- but will that be investigated? And will mercenaries from non-ICC member states benefit from the US-requested loophole? Will France's quid pro quo tainted candidate Bruno Cathala win a seat and be the one to make decisions? We'll see.

Footnote: earlier on November 2, as the UN bragged about Ban Ki-moon's trip to Tripoli on the way to the G-20 meeting in Cannes, Inner City Press asked Ban's two top spokesmen two simple questions:

"Please state on whose aircraft -- whether owned by a nation or otherwise -- the Secretary General and PGA flew into Tripoli on? This does not concern security, I am not requesting the time of any flights, only who owns / paid for the aircraft, in terms of the perception of impartiality. This is on deadline this morning.

"Also, yesterday morning the Chairperson of the Working Group on Mercenaries Faiza Patel told Inner City Press, 'The UN does use private military companies.' She then said the UN has a program to coordinate its use of private military companies to ensure that those charged with human rights violations are not used. Please describe that program, and all uses by UN system agencies of private military companies."

Six hours later, neither question was answered or even acknowledged. Watch this site.

Share |

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

Click for Mar 1, '11 re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

* * *

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

Feedback: Editorial [at]

UN Office: S-253, UN, NY 10017 USA Tel: 212-963-1439

Reporter's mobile (and weekends): 718-716-3540

  Search  Search WWW (censored?)

Other, earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.

            Copyright 2006-2001 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at]