#GlobalJusticeWeekly – Libyan court postpones trial of Saif Gaddafi, other former officials

Both the prosecution and defense requested the trial of 40 Gaddafi regime officials be postponed. © AFP

Both the prosecution and defense requested the trial of 40 Gaddafi regime officials be postponed. © AFP

After ICC appeals judges ruled last week that Saif Gaddafi should be tried in The Hague, domestic proceedings against Gaddafi, former intelligence chief Abdullah Al-Senussi and dozens of other former government officials continued on Sunday before the trial was postponed to 22 June. Both the prosecution and defense had requested more time to prepare their cases. The defense also demanded access to the defendants.

Meanwhile, political instability and insecurity continue in Libya. This week, forces loyal to a rogue general attacked a government-funded Islamist militia in Benghazi, while Libya’s interim prime minister challenged the appointment of his successor.

Human Rights Watch called on the Libyan government to ensure an impartial and comprehensive investigation into the killing of a newspaper editor in Benghazi on 26 May, noting that the ICC has ongoing jurisdiction over grave crimes committed in Libya since 15 February, 2011.



Central African Republic

Amnesty International called on the CAR’s interim president to ensure that a planned government shake-up does not lead to impunity. The president of Women in Danger was interviewed about rape in the CAR conflict (in French). Several people were killed in an attack on a Bangui church. Closing arguments in the Jean-Pierre Bemba case were set for October 2014.

Kenya

ICC judges decided to allow William Ruto and Joshua Sang to appeal a decision summoning eight witnesses to testify in their case. A Kenyan appellate court temporarily barred the arrest and extradition to the ICC of Walter Barasa, pending resolution of his appeal. Meanwhile, victims in the Uhuru Kenyatta case complained about delays in the case and the ICC’s outreach director in Kenya denied conducting investigations for the Kenyatta and Ruto/Sang cases.

A Daily Nation columnist argued that the Kenyan government is ignoring people displaced by the post-election violence. The National Museums of Kenya held a day of remembrance for post-election victims through art.

Darfur

A UNAMID peacekeeper was killed and three others wounded in Darfur.

Democratic Republic of Congo

The Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice issued a statement on the Germain Katanga sentencing, calling it unexpectedly lenient.

Uganda

South Sudan’s rebels denied allegations of a relationship between the Lord’s Resistance Army and South Sudanese rebel leader Riek Machar.

Mali

The Malian government urged the UN to demand the disarmament of all of the country’s armed groups.

Preliminary Examinations

Nigeria‘s government says that it knows the location of the kidnapped schoolgirls but cannot not use force to rescue them. The Nigerian president ordered a full-scale offensive against the Boko Haram, but The Cable reported that the president also declared amnesty for members of the insurgent group. Thirty-five people were killed in three Boko Haram attacks on villages in Borno state and the UN Security Council approved sanctions against members of the group. A critic of the FARC peace talks finished first in Colombia’s presidential election, but failed to reach the 50 percent needed to avoid a runoff. The leader of FARC said that he dreams of an ‘effective peace.’ A Turkish court ordered the arrest of four Israeli generals on charges related to the Mavi Marmara raid, and a victim of the raid died after being in a coma for four years.

Campaign for Global Justice

Human Rights Watch’s Clive Baldwin argued that the UK and France should be pushing for Palestine to join the ICC, not opposing its membership on the Court. Ukraine’s acting president asked the constitutional court to review provisions of the Ukrainian constitution related to ratification of the Rome Statute.

What else is happening?

The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) welcomed two ACHPR resolutions condemning the persistence of sexual violence on the African continent. Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice held a workshop on gender justice and complementarity. Over 45 NGOs—including Amnesty International, FIDH and Human Rights Watch—called for a group of human rights defenders held by a Syrian opposition group to be freed. Argentina criticized the UN Security Council for undermining the ICC by propagating referrals that exempt citizens of non-states parties from the Court’s jurisdiction. Blogger and academic Mark Kersten questioned the US explanation for why it changed its course on referring Syria to the ICC. Academic and former US official Beth Van Schaack discussed the possibility of establishing a mixed chamber for Syria.

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