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 -

Follow us on TWITTER

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


ICP on YouTube

Video on NY Times

Google, Asked at UN About Censorship, Moved to Censor the Questioner, Sources Say, Blaming UN - Update - Editorial

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

French Deal to Support Unqualified ICC Candidate for Cathala Nears Consummation

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 9 -- The electoral race to fill six judge positions at the International Criminal Court has been a typical UN affair, with candidates' countries seeking face time if not promises of support by hosting and attending receptions, doling out lamb chops, making grandiose claims.

  But both the outgoing and income Presidents of the ICC's Assembly of State Parties say that vote trading is not supposed to take place. Nevertheless, as Inner City Press exclusively reported in late October, France offered to support a candidate found to be unqualified if his country would support the French candidate Bruno Cathala.

  The candidates for the six ICC judge seats were reviewed by the Independent Panel on International Criminal Court Judicial Elections and four -- from Tunisia, Cyprus, Costa Rica and Mexico -- were found to be "unqualified."

 But when one of the "unqualified" candidates met with France to try to make his case, he tells Inner City Press that he was surprised to be offered a deal: that if his country committed to vote for the French candidate, he could count on France's vote.

  On December 8 Inner City Press learned from the country of the unqualified candidate that the one certainty is that they will vote for France's Cathala, performing their part of the exposed but still in place deal.

  France styles itself a champion of international criminal justice and accountability. But just as it asserted itself to place atop UN Peacekeeping Herve Ladsous, the chief of staff of foreign ministers Alain Juppe and Michele Aliot-Marie including when she flew on planes owned by cronies of Tunisian dictator Ben Ali, it is seeking to its candidate Bruno Cathala as a judge on the ICC. Will it work?

(c) UN Photo
Cathala at UN, quid pro quo & French vote for unqualified not shown (anonymous)

  Colombia, a country nearly targeted by the ICC, has put forward a candidate, Eduard Cifuentes Munoz. Colombian officials up from Bogota to push the campaign explained that as a country that has wrestled with war crimes, Colombia may have lessons to teach others. The country has pursued the judicial opening aggressively.

  Another sample campaign has been for the Philippines' Miriam Defensor-Santiago. On Friday, December 2 generally well liked and earnest Permanent Representative Libran N. Cabactulan of the Philippines threw a reception in the General Assembly lobby complete with wine, lamb chops and samosas. 

  Available at the reception were excerpts from court decisions, some by Miriam Defensor-Santiago and some citing her, for example a decision in Republic of the Philippines versus Marcos.

  Inner City Press asked Miriam Defensor-Santiago if she thought the ICC should indict at least some non-African leaders, to move away from the perception that only Africans are targeted by the Court. "I don't know," she answered, "that remains to be answered by the major powers."

To some, this is a troubling answer; others question some of her jokes about gender differences and secret love children. She faces a single opponent from Cyprus for the Asian group seat.

  The Cypriot candidate was ruled "unqualified" by an NGO convened panel, though some knowledgeable sources question that rating since the candidate is well versed in family law including abuse and other quasi-criminal matters.

But it has been a troubling campaign, complete with France offering its support to an unqualified candidate as a trade for votes for Bruno Cathala. How might this taint the ICC? 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 2006-2011 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at]