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At UN, Doubts Grow Of ICC's Moreno-Ocampo, on Lubanga and Uganda Abuses

Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis

UNITED NATIONS, September 16, updated Sept. 17 -- The UN system's world of justice is in chaos, as the first prosecution by the the International Criminal Court is on hold for the prosecutor's errors, financial sanctions are thrown out by the courts, and the ICC prosecutor himself is surrounded by charges of retaliation and even rape. On Tuesday in New York, Inner City Press pursued these issues with a well-placed Ambassador, that of Liechtenstein, known among other things as the expert on the crime of aggression.

  On the freezing of ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo's case against Congo militia leader Thomas Lubanga, Ambassador Christian Wenaweser noted that this is being cited by some as evidence that Moreno-Ocampo "is incompetent and doesn't know how to write an indictment." On the finding of retaliation by Moreno-Ocampo, he said that "he should have said, you can't continue as my spokesman, but had him shine someone's shoes, that was stupid" to fire the whistleblower.

Update of September 17: Waneser's statement that "I don't personally exclude that the judges will throw out the genocide charge," it now seem clear, referred to the possibility of the ICC judges not granting Moreno-Ocampo's request for an arrest warrant against Sudanese president Omar Al Bashir on grounds of genocide. We note for the record that Moreno-Ocampo did not indict Lubango for genocide -- although Lubanga was so-charged in the DR Congo, click here for document on the ICC's website to the effect.

  Not mentioned by Liechtenstein's Wenaweser but another irregularity, the ICC's man in Uganda has publicly exonerated the forces of Museveni, who also caused havoc in Northern Uganda. Now the peace talks have fallen apart.

Moreno-Ocampo, with Liechtenstein's Ambassador, shame not shown

At the September 15 UN noon briefing, Inner City Press asked

Inner City Press: there are conflicting reports about the talks between Uganda and the Lord’s Resistance Army and Mr. [Joachim] Chissano.  Some say now they have totally fallen apart and Mr. Chissano is pulling out of the process.  Others say he remains in it.  What is the status?

Associate Spokesperson:  At this point I don’t have any announcement to make about the talks having ended.  As you know, Joseph Kony has not shown up for these talks.  Mr. Chissano has made himself available.  If he has decided to end his participation, we will let you know at that point, but we’re not at that stage yet.

  But in the midst of this delicate and perhaps dying negotiation, Moreno-Ocampo's self-described representative in Uganda Jimmy Otim gives up the ghost, and announces that that any investigation of the abuses by Museveni's military  in Northern Uganda is over, click here for that. Helpful - or incompetent? To be continued.

Watch this site, and this (UN) debate.

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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

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