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After ICC Ruling on Kenya, Araud Tells ICP UNSC "Won't Get" to Deferral Request

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, October 18 -- Amid still conflicting reports about a request to the UN Security Council to defer the International Criminal Court's Kenya case or cases, Inner City Press on Friday asked French Permanent Representative Gerard Araud what France's response would be to such a request.

  Earlier on Friday Kenya's Permanent Representative Macharia Kamau exclusively told Inner City Press that it was not a move by Kenya, but by the African Union, not yet formally filed by the AU.

  Also earlier on Friday in The Hague, ICC judges excused Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta from "continuous presence" at his trial, to begin November 12 (presiding Judge Kuniko Ozaki dissented).

  When Inner City Press asked Araud for France's position on a request to defer ICC prosecution of Kenyatta, he stopped and exclusively told Inner City Press, "Frankly that's not the question. The ICC granted the request. In a sense, we won't get to the step you describe."

  The answer is appreciated. But is it certain that the request for full deferral won't be made? And are the ICC judges' decisions now openly political, almost a form of negotiation to keep jurisdiction or relevance?

On October 14, Inner City Press asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesperson Martin Nesikry:

Inner City Press: there's a report that says that the Secretary-General called a number of the Presidents in attendance [at the AU] and told them that he would use his position to amend the Rome Statute... it also includes the response of one of the Presidents, Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, saying that the Secretary-General has no ability to amend the Rome Statute. Is it? Could we get just a factual readout of who he called in connection with that AU summit?

Spokesperson Nesirky: I will check. What we will be able to say: the Secretary-General certainly did make a number of telephone calls, but I donít think that we will be going into the details of those calls.

Inner City Press: What about just WHO he called?

Spokesperson Nesirky: I can tell you that a number of telephone calls were made, and not just by the Secretary-General.

The Free UN Coalition for Access @FUNCA_info believes that as a matter of transparency, such calls by the UN Secretary General should be disclosed. Selectively disclosing some but not all calls to heads of state turns the UN (further) into a House of Spin. Watch this site.


 

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