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In ICJ Election, Dirty Tricks Alleged, Ugandan Sierra Leone Contest Unresolved

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, November 10 -- The re-election of three judges to the International Court of Justice on November 10 included a dirty tricks campaign, according to one of the winning judges.

  Issue was taken with a previously reported allegation that Judge Peter Tomka of Slovakia assured Security Council member Colombia of a positive outcome in a pending case, by one judge prior to Thursday voting and one judge just after, pointing to finger at Tomka's opponent, from Bulgaria.

  Judgeships on the ICJ are subject to a geographic understanding; Tomka's re-election was challenged by Tsvetana Kamenova of Bulgaria, which was said to still be angry about non-compliance with a deal to take over part of the term of judge from Poland who instead remained on the court until his passing with one year left in his third nine-year term.

  As character witnesses Tomka has many diplomats in the UN, where he served from 1991 to 1997, including as Permanent Representative. The proposition that Tomka always rules in favor of Colombia is countered by his ruling against Colombia's position that Costa Rica should be able to intervene in the case, Territorial and Maritime Dispute (Nicaragua v. Colombia). All of this is duly noted, for the record.

(c) UN Photo
ICJ President Owada with Ban Ki-moon, reforms still not shown

  And for the remaining ICJ seat, Thursday ended with Sierra Leone's Abdul Koroma still one vote short in the General Assembly, but leading his Ugandan opponent 9 to 6 in the Security Council. The fight will be continued, but the date was not on Thursday set. Watch this site.

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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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